The Life of Mammals (Repackaged) [DVD]
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All ten episodes from David Attenborough's series looking at the most diverse group of animals ever to inhabit the Earth. 'A Winning Design' highlights the differences between mammals, reptiles and birds. 'Insect Hunters' focuses on mammals who have specifically adapted to eating insects. 'Plant Predators' examines how herbivores have adapted, while 'Chisellers' concerns those mammals who feed primarily on roots and seeds. 'Meat Eaters' follows the eternal race between predators and prey, and how both individual and pack hunters have adapted. 'Opportunists' examines the way that mammals with variable diets are able to adapt to new environments. 'Return to the Water' looks at seals, dolphins, porpoises and whales. 'Life in the Trees' explores the world of tree-dwelling mammals. 'Social Climbers' concerns the complexities of monkey social life. Finally, 'Food for Thought' looks at what happened when mammals developed the capability to walk upright.
David Attenborough and the BBC have a well-earned reputation for producing some of the greatest nature programmes, but The Life of Mammals could well be Attenborough's magnum opus. Much of the footage shot for this series had never been seen before, and is presented with the respect and reverence for the natural world that Attenborough has made his trademark. It never ceases to surprise: the sight of a lion taking down a wildebeest on the African savannah has almost become a cliché of nature programmes, yet in The Life of Mammals the cameras keep rolling and the viewer witnesses the fallen animal's herd coming to its rescue and driving off the lion. It's a moving sight and just one of many remarkable scenes.
A thorough and entertaining overview of one of evolution's greatest success stories, the series is loosely structured to follow the development of mammals, beginning with the basics in "A Winning Design", which clarifies what makes a mammal different from reptiles and birds--no, it isn't egg-laying: both the platypus and the echidna are egg-laying mammals; it's their ability to adapt. And it's this adaptability that becomes the crux of the remainder of the series. "Insect Hunters" focuses on mammals who have specifically adapted to eating insects, from the giant anteater and the armoured armadillo to bats, which have evolved into complex and effective hunters. "Plant Predators" demonstrates the particular (and often peculiar) adaptations of herbivores, while "Chisellers" is about those mammals who feed primarily on roots and seeds, ranging from tree-dwelling squirrels to opportunistic mice and rats. "Meat Eaters" talks about the evolutionary arms race that exists between predators and prey, and the unique adaptations of both individual and pack hunters. Omnivores are explored in "Opportunists"--mammals like bears and raccoons, whose varied diet allows them to occupy nearly any environment. "Return to the Water" discusses those mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins that have left behind life on dry land and adapted completely to life in the sea, existing at the top of the food chain. The last three episodes--"Life in the Trees", "Social Climbers" and "Food for Thought"--take the viewer through the development of primates, eventually culminating in that most successful mammal: man. --Robert Burrow --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Many mammals are nocturnal by nature, so for the first time many animals are caught on film through the use of infra-red cameras... watching a pride of lionness' hunt by night is a staggering experience and will give your subwoofer a workout, not to mention chill the blood! There are also close encounters with numerous types of dolphins, the rare blue whale, monkeys & bats of all various kinds, and so on. Truly something for everyone here.
Can't recommend this series highly enough. Another great from the undisputed king of nature programmes, you'll want to watch this again and again.
The series begins with "A Winning Design", which distinguishes mammals from other living organisms. This episode follows marsupials, and hence spends most of its time in Australia. There is some wonderful footage of the duck-billed platypus, perhaps the most bizzare mammal alive today. From here, the next three episodes deal with small herbivores as David charts the development of mammals by examining animals of greater and greater evolutionary complexity. Spectacular later episodes include "Meat Eaters", in which large cats and dogs are compared, and "Life in the Trees", in which David is hoisted to the top of the rainforest canopy to observe the astounding gibbons, who move from branch to branch with breathtaking speed and agility. There is also the amazing "Return to the Water". David stands inside a life-size computer-generated blue whale, and states that the ancestors of these giants were "deer-like creatures" - a fact that surprised me! The last two episodes then examine man's pre-cursors in social monkeys, baboons and finally man himself.
This series, along with the Blue Planet, must rank alongside David's finest work. Fortunately, he shows no signs of slowing down, although one can only wonder if there is any creature he has not yet filmed, or if he could add to what he has produced here.Read more ›
Special features are 3 brief high quality programmes introducing the viewer to BBC crew behind the cameras. Fact files on Disc 3 have more facts than I expected, good detail. The music (mainly orchestral) does not intrude too much and prevent the combination of good dialogue&visuals&sounds which are the trio that make a good documentary. Probably the best television/film I have ever seen including anything from Hollywood and Europe. 5 superbright stars.
For me, I have watched nature programmes for years, but with this set of DVDs I am continuing to learn about animal behaviour: Orang-Utans manoeuvring boats for example.
This DVD boxed set is only part of our collection - along with Blue Planet : Complete BBC Series (Special Edition 4 Disc Box Set) [DVD] and Planet Earth : Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set)  [DVD] they give us entertainment and education at the same time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
already had this but someone lost the first disc so much for lending things but what a great pricePublished 23 days ago by actionman023
A facinating DVD with some superb filming..... I highly recommend thisPublished 1 month ago by wanandfou-20
brilliant buy.excellent value and speedy delivery.Published 3 months ago by peter shaw[carplover48]