Life (Attenborough) / Planet Earth - Special Edition Collection (Blu-ray).
This remarkable collection brings together the two most riveting, highly praised natural history series ever produced, the new, Six Disc Special Edition of Planet Earth and the original UK broadcast version of Life, both narrated by world-renowned naturalist, David Attenborough!
. Episode List Life Challenges of Life
David Attenborough shows us how some animals have evolved new hunting, mating and parental techniques to help them survive the challenges of life. Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptilians survive from the age of the Saurians, but if many look Ancient that's because their early and sometimes relatively recent adaptations to widely varied conditions worldwide still work admirably. Examples include lizards like the giant Komodo dragon, still top-dog on his Indonesian island, the feared crocodilian hunters, color-changing chameleons and snake species fitted for most (warm) ecosystems. The same goes for amphibians, including numerous specialized (tree) frogs and toads. Both groups are cold-blooded, hence vulnerable while warming up. Mammals
Mammals dominate the planet. They do it through having warm blood and by the care they lavish on their young. Filming in the bitter Antarctic winter reveal how a mother Weddell seal wears her teeth down keeping open a hole in the ice so she can catch fish for her pup. A powered hot air balloon captures stunning images of millions of migrating bats as they converge on fruiting trees in Zambia. Fish
Countless fish fill the seas and almost all other waters on the blue planet, some even visit or invade bordering land. Evolution created a huge variety in size, shape, defense means etc., fit for varies ways of life in all kinds of waters, allowing camouflage, shelter etc. They occupy various positions in aquatic and related food chains, eaten by and/or eating other fish and vertebrates, crustaceans etc. Birds
Birds descend from dinosaurs who developed feathers. Those allow most of them to fly, which few other vertebrates can. Some birds gave up flying, like penguins, who specialize in diving and prove feather's fabulous insulating efficiency. Feathers are also key to courting, almost as varied as bird physiognomy and ways of solitary or social life almost all over the globe. Insects
Insects and - species outnumber all higher animals by far. Their immense variety reflect adaptation to an extreme range of ecological conditions, even gravely toxic ones. Especially the nearly 60,000 fly species cover about all the globe. Many can fly, which helps getting everywhere, but they also occur on/in soil, water, host plants or animals, cavities etcetera. They often occur in great swarms, as over a billion Monarch butterflies migrating from Canada to a Mexican forest to hibernate. Hunters and Hunted
The struggle of life is often based on 'eat (and/)or be eaten'. Therefore evolutionary success is largely defined in terms of skills to survive as prey and/or hunter. Mammals are particularly successful worldwide because the add to anatomical adaptation an intelligence allowing quick and greatly diverse strategies to find preys, shelter, fight (back) etcetera. Creatures of the Deep
Marine invertebrates, the descendants of one billion years of evolutionary history, are the most abundant creatures in the ocean. In the Sea of Cortez, packs of Humboldt squid make night-time raids from the deep to co-operatively hunt sardines. Beneath the permanent Antarctic sea ice of McMurdo Sound, sea urchins, red sea stars and nemertean worms are filmed scavenging on a seal carcass. A fried egg jellyfish hunts amongst a swarm of Aurelia in the open ocean, spearing its prey with harpoon-like tentacles. Plants
Flora has evolved to live in extreme conditions and a wide variety of locations and seen as the eldest 'creatures' on the planet. Their struggle for life, like animals (only usually much slower), is about food (including parasitism and 'flesh-eating'). They strive to find water, to procreate: notably pollination-mostly by animals and semination - gliding or by weather conditions, or more primitive ways such as spores. They have a varied defense (thorns, spines, toxins etc.).
Primates include apes, monkeys and even more primitive simians, such as lemurs. Thanks to their intelligence, the higher primates take adaptation beyond anatomical evolution: their behavior transcends instinct thanks to learning and invention. Their social life especially holds the seeds of human culture, such as tribal warfare. They occur in widely different environments, which they cleverly interact with, from icy northern Japan to (mainly) the tropics in Old - and New World. Planet Earth From Pole to Pole "Planet Earth" travels around the Earth, finding where the sun always shines and where it's rarely seen. Next, they find where water is abundant and where it's scarce.
Mountains are the most prominent products of the immense forces which shape the living planet: tectonic drift, volcanic activity and erosion by wind, water, frost and precipitation. We see how wildlife adapts to the harsh, often extreme conditions in various types of mountain ranges, such as Gelada baboons on a suddenly volcano-pushed Ethiopian peek, pumas in the Andes, grizzly bears in the Rockies, snow leopards in the Himalaya.
Although merely 3% of water on earth, fresh water plays an important part in the planet's weather and erosion. It is immensely important for all non-marine wildlife, which drinks fresh water and swims, procreates, hunts in it. Its concentrations, such as rivers, lakes and swamps, abound in aquatic and other species, often adapted to 'wet' life.
The Earth's large, deep calcareous caves are virtually inaccessible and therefore barely explored - requiring expert diving where flooded. Some of its wildlife is as strange and specific as in the deep, darkest part of the ocean, whether physically adapted -notably to the dark. Nevertheless, some caves(did) play an important part in native cultures, even as sources of fresh water for some Mayan cities.
A large and growing part of earth's land mass is covered in desert - each one widely varied in composition and dryness. Wildlife species have adapted in different ways to these different arid lands especially to get and conserve water. Some are physically desert-models, like camels, others just changed their diet and behavior. Most live mainly at night, when it's cooler. The largest desert is northern Africa's Sahara, US size and extremely sandy, the result of grinding erosion of mountains.
The polar caps have the most extreme seasonal contrasts, growing and melting vast ice masses, so wildlife adapts by annual migrations. The majority of Antartica is a vast barren permafrost. Only 3% of the coast and peninsular peaks are where life migrates to in the spring, for a short fertile summer, attracted by rich supplies of krill and fish. Only the Emperor penguin males breed 4 months in winter 100 miles inland. The Arctic has a more complete fauna which migrates back North from the continent.
A quarter of the earth's land mass, from arctic to tropical, are open plains consisting of lowland as well as highland plateaus. Here grows virtually indestructible, fast-growing grasses of all sizes that feed the planet's largest herbivore populations, the preys to solitary and social carnivores. Spectacular elements of the seasonal cycle of life can include mass migrations, monsoons, drought and great fires.
On 3% of the Earth's surface, the rain forest is the habitat for half our animal species, even 80% of insects. So its wildlife is most competitive, like the birds of paradise's mating, and specialized with unique relationships of predation, parasitism etc. For plants, the quest for light is key to stratification, paralleled by interacting animals eating fruits, leaves and other animals. Even the jungle cacophony is stratified. On the soil, recycling specialist like fungi restart the cycle of life.
Shallow seas cover only 8% of earth's surface, but contain the richest, most varied maritime life: from plankton and coral (literally vital for the very existence of reefs) to birds and from various invertebrates to mammals like seals, dolphins and whales and from sea snakes to countless fish species. Their ecological interaction is greatly varied and complex, often with nearby land to, even with deserts.
Trees are earth's largest organisms and are also one of the planet's oldest inhabitants. Seasonal forests (unlike tropical rain-forest) the largest land habitats. A third of all trees grow in the endless taiga of the Arctic north. Northern America has forests that include California's sequoia's, the earth's largest trees. There and elsewhere, their vast production of photosynthesis and shade presides over a seasonal cycle of life and involves countless plant and animal species.
Open ocean, a vast biotope covering two thirds of the planet, some shallow, some as deep as the mountain ranges are high. The ocean has an immense, precariously complex food chain, varying from microscopic animals, like krill, to whales, which ironically feed mainly on the former. Most species swim or float in it, many coming up for air, while other dive in from land or air, often to feed, but also to procreate on the coast, where some species come to lay their eggs. Even the shore is covered with life, largely based on organic matter, such as corpses.
David Attenborough...Himself - Narrator (10 episodes, 2009)
Oprah Winfrey...Herself - Narrator (U.S. Broadcast) (10 episodes, 2009)
David Attenborough...Himself - Narrator (11 episodes, 2006)
Sigourney Weaver...Narrator - US Version (11 episodes, 2006)