The Life of Mammals (2002) BBC

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Video Description


Broadcast 5 February 2003, the final episode studies apes and the evolution of human society to its current state. In Borneo, rescued orangutans that have spent time with humans have learned to imitate their activities, and have done so entirely on their own initiative. They are shown hand-paddling a canoe, washing socks, and using a hammer and saw. In Africa, Attenborough encounters a group of orphaned chimpanzees that are being prepared for their return to the wild. Again, they display a great capacity for gaining knowledge and passing it on. A different chimp culture exists in Uganda, where a large concentration of rival males lives in an uneasy alliance that, in rare cases, can lead to extreme violence. In Tanzania, Attenborough examines some of the earliest footprints to have been left by man's upright-walking ancestors. In the Kalahari Desert, indigenous bushmen undertake a persistence hunt. It provides an illustration of how early man pursued his prey with no weapons. The domestication of cattle led to farms and then to villages. With vastly increased food supplies, the number of human beings multiplied. Ritual and the arts flourished, and villages became towns. Attenborough visits Tikal, the capital of the Maya people, who achieved sophisticated advances in architecture, mathematics and astronomy. However, the Maya couldn't sustain their population — and, Attenborough warns, we may be precariously close to a similar catastrophe.

Documentary Description


The Life of Mammals is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 20 November 2002. A study of the evolution and habits of the various mammal species, it was the fourth of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth. Each of the ten episodes looks at one (or several closely related) mammal groups and discusses the different facets of their day-to-day existence. All the programmes are of 50 minutes' duration except the last, which extends to 59 minutes. The series was produced in conjunction with the Discovery Channel. The executive producer was Mike Salisbury and the music was composed by Dan Jones and Ben Salisbury. It was later shown on Animal Planet. Part of David Attenborough's 'Life' series, it was preceded by The Life of Birds (1998), and followed by Life in the Undergrowth (2005). However, in between the former and this series, David Attenborough presented State of the Planet (2000) and narrated The Blue Planet (2001).



Source: Wikipedia

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