Broadcast 29 January 2003, the penultimate instalment focuses on monkeys. Together with apes (which includes humans), monkeys are part of the most social group of mammals. Their habits are rooted in relationships with others of their kind and a natural intelligence and inquisitiveness. Capuchins display all these qualities as they search for food. The differing face colours of the saki denote seniority within its group. The only nocturnal monkeys are douroucoulis and being active at night enables them to share the food resources of others in the same area. Pygmy marmosets, the smallest monkeys in the world, are captured feeding at the tops of trees and gnawing away on tree trunks to feast on the gum inside. Different tamarin species are shown co-operating to alert each other to the presence of a common predator, a tayra. Monkeys have good colour vision, and howler monkeys use it to select non-toxic leaves to eat. Attenborough travels through the African jungle with an alliance of species: several types of monkey and even mongooses combine to watch out for danger. They have a different alarm call for each enemy and Attenborough demonstrates this by placing a stuffed leopard nearby. In Sri Lanka, the naturalist also spends time with a troop of toque macaques — one of the most studied groups of monkeys in the world. It has been discovered that the creatures are born into a class system, in which position brings privileges. When the world's climate changed 10 million years ago, some monkeys ventured into open grassland, and they are illustrated by some of the most resourceful: baboons and geladas.
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).