evolution

NATURE
Big Birds Can’t Fly

NATURE: Big Birds Can't Fly

 

This is the unique story of flightless birds. They say a bird is three things – feathers, flight and song. But what happens when you’re a bird who can’t fly, who can’t sing, and whose feathers are closer to fluff? Flightless birds include ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries and kiwis, and, interestingly, all have evolved independent of each other on different continents. Research has shown that some of these big birds at one time could fly, but once the dinosaurs were wiped out, these same birds no longer needed to take flight from their enemies. As they began to explore a world rich with food and free from predators, they grew fat, and their legs grew long and strong – until the day they discovered that although they had become good at walking, they’d also become too heavy to fly.

 

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NOVA
Mystery of Easter Island

NOVA Mystery of Easter Island

 

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing as much as 86 tons each? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? NOVA explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory – serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.

 

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NOVA
First Face of America

NOVA: First Face of America

 

Take a risky dive into an underwater cave in Mexico to uncover the 13,000-year old skeleton of a prehistoric teenager. Forensic clues reveal intimate details of her life and death, and how her people first ventured into North America.

 

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NATURE
Super Cats: Science and Secrets

 

Scientists are studying cats in greater detail than ever before. New approaches and technologies help uncover some of the cats’ most intimate secrets, including the cheetah’s remarkable gymnastic abilities and why lions are able to hunt so cooperatively.

 

 

NATURE
Super Cats: Cats In Every Corner

 

Discover how cats have conquered the world, thriving in almost every landscape on Earth: From fishing cats in the wetlands of Asia, to jaguars in Costa Rica, to margays in Central American treetops, to swamp tigers on the Indian shore.

 

 

NATURE
Animal Misfits

 

Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits, odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures that at first glance seem ill-equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. Animals featured include: giant panda, mole rat, three-toed sloth and aye-aye.

 

 

NOVA
Making North America: Human

 

Mighty, elemental forces molded North America – fiery eruptions, titanic floods, the grinding of great ice sheets and massive impacts from space all shaped our homeland. The epic three-part series unfolds in a forgotten world that existed long before our own, crossed by long-lost mountain ranges, deserts the size of Africa and vast inland seas spanning the length of the continent. Hosted by renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson, this spectacular road trip through a tumultuous deep past explores three fundamental questions: How was the continent built? How did life evolve here? And how has the continent shaped us?

 

Making North America: Human
From Ice Age to oil boom, discover the challenges faced and the wealth uncovered as humans take over the continent. How did we turn rocks into riches? And what catastrophic natural disasters could threaten the civilization we’ve built?

 

 

NOVA
Dawn of Humanity

 

NOVA and National Geographic present exclusive access to a unique discovery of ancient remains. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to wriggle down a vertical, pitch-dark, eight inch-wide passage. Most fossil discoveries of human relatives consist of just a handful of bones. But down in this hidden chamber, the team uncovered an unprecedented trove – so far, over 1,500 bones – with the potential to rewrite the story of our origins. They may help fill in a crucial gap in the fossil record and tell us how Homo, the first member of the human family, emerged from ape-like ancestors like the famous Lucy. But how did hundreds of bones end up in the remote chamber? The experts are considering every mind-boggling possibility. Join NOVA on the treacherous descent into this cave of spectacular and enigmatic finds, and discover their startling implications for the saga of what made us human.

 

 

NOVA
Life’s Rocky Start

 

From the first sparks of life to the survival of the fittest, unearth the secret relationship between rocks and life. NOVA goes around the world and back in time to investigate how minerals are vital to the origins and evolution of life.

 

 

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