Animals

NOVA
Inside Animal Minds: Who’s the Smartest?

 

What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We’ll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We’ll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We’ll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we’ll uncover surprising similarities to — and differences from — the human mind. What makes an animal smart? Many scientists believe the secret lies in relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures – including humans – seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, NOVA goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet.

 

 

 

SUPERNATURE – WILD FLYERS
Crowded Skies

 

Explore the wonder and science of one of nature’s greatest innovations – the power of flight. Cutting-edge camera technology and computer-generated graphics help explain airborne animals’ remarkable powers and how they work.

 

Crowded Skies
The sky is a crowded world where mammals, birds and insects hunt, escape, mate, defend territory, sleep and even die on the wing. Survival up there depends not just on beating gravity and mastering flight, but also out-flying the competition.

 

 

 

NATURE
Snow Bears

 

Set against the magical backdrop of the Arctic, NATURE “Snow Bears” is a dramatized story based on the extraordinary adventures and life-changing journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they leave the safety of their den for the first time. Bravely led by their mother, the cubs must make the perilous 400-mile voyage to the sea to feed. Encountering many dangers along the way – Arctic foxes, roaming bears ready to kill, extreme weather, snowdrifts and ice cracks – they undertake an epic survival challenge. These cubs are rarely seen in their natural habitat, and “Snow Bears” is a unique glimpse into their world. Kate Winslet narrates.

 

 

 

NATURE
Hotel Armadillo

 

You won’t find this hotel on the beaches of Rio. Deep in the heart of the Brazilian wetlands, the mysterious and secretive Giant armadillo digs a new burrow every other night. Once this termite-eater moves on, it leaves behind one of the hottest plots of real estate in the tropical Pantanal for 80 species of diverse and ever-changing animal clientele. Anteaters and coatis, are among the grassland guests who “check in.”

 

 

 

NOVA
Animal Espionage

NOVA: Animal Espionage

 

Camera traps and drones are revolutionizing the study of wildlife by providing an up-close look at animals without disturbing them. See how these technologies are helping us understand everything from mysterious whale behavior to tiger migration.

 

 

 

NATURE
Biggest Beasts

 

Discover the ingenious strategies that nature’s biggest beasts employ to conquer their environments, from the Komodo dragon with a deadly bite to the tallest giraffe to the bird-eating armored ground cricket. These are their epic survival stories.

 

 

 

NATURE
Okavango: River of Dreams: Inferno

 

Discover the landscape and wildlife of the Lower Okavango River, where the land is baked dry by the scorching sun. Large herds of zebra and wildebeest migrate to the dry plains in search of the precious salt that these animals need.

 

 

 

NEW LEASH ON LIFE:
The K9s for Warriors Story

 

A NEW LEASH ON LIFE: THE K9s FOR WARRIORS STORY highlights the journeys of three United States veterans struggling to adapt to life back home. All three suffered from PTSD after returning from serving overseas, and each has found hope and new ways to handle their stress and emotional challenges through the aid of a companion dog. Throughout the documentary, Adam, Shilo and Louis recount their years of service and discuss the PTSD symptoms they faced while trying to re-acclimate to civilian life. Like many veterans, they had trouble managing their flashbacks and hypervigilance, among other issues. Each ended up looking into K9s for Warriors for help. K9s for Warriors was founded in 2010 by Shari Duval who, at the time, was desperate to help her son Brett, a veteran suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury after serving two tours in Iraq. She stumbled upon a story about a service dog that had helped another veteran cope and that inspired her to start a service dog agency for vets. Shari’s idea gave her son new purpose. Shari and Brett’s organization pairs veterans with certified service canines. All the dogs are trained by Shari and her team and each dog is rescued from a shelter. They work with 10 to 12 veterans a month, and the veterans go through a weeks-long orientation program where they learn training tools and bond with their new companions. Weaving together the story of Shari and her son’s work with service dogs and the intimate experiences of three U.S. military members in the aftermath of their service, A NEW LEASH ON LIFE shows a unique way suffering veterans are mitigating symptoms and returning to a more regular life.

 

 

 

NATURE
Okavango: River of Dreams: Limbo

 

See the landscape and wildlife of the “Middle River,” the delta of the Okavango River. A hyena and a warthog family share neighboring dens, helping each other by keeping an eye on threatening predators, such as lions and leopards.

 

 

 

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