Next Episode of Darwin's Amazing Animals is
A natural history show that's a huge hit with families in Japan is now set to go global! The series explores the amazing stories of animals in Africa, the Americas and Asia, including Japan.
Look into a herd of zebras and try counting the animals. You can't! The mesmerizing effect was long thought to serve as a sort of camouflage against predators. We travel to Africa to scrutinize this and other theories regarding the zebra's fascinating striped pattern. A way to beat the heat on the savanna? Perhaps to ward off the dangerous Tsetse fly whose unending appetite for blood can result in death?! Let's keep cool while avoiding some nasty bites and learn how the zebra earned its stripes!
Look at a calendar in Japan and you'll see dates set aside for many fish. November 11th (11/11) is reserved for the spotted garden eel, who, along with members of its colony, resemble many "ones" sticking out of the sea floor in the waters around the Kerama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. Hunting for plankton while swaying in the current, these are fish full of mystery. We planted our cameras nearby hoping to discover how they move about and more importantly, how they spawn. The result? A world exclusive!
Bird watchers everywhere flock to Cuba to see the world's smallest flier, the Bee hummingbird. This radiant bird is just 5 centimeters long and weighs 2 grams. It also builds the world's smallest nest and lays eggs the size of coffee beans. But don't let the colorful charmer fool you! It's extremely territorial and doesn't take kindly to intruders. Our cameras captured the male's courting dance for the first time, though the object of his affection wasn't nearly as impressed as we were!
The Darwin team heads to Peru hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Amazon river dolphin. These freshwater gliders are descended from sea dwellers cut off from their environment by crustal movements eons ago. For the first time ever, the rarely-seen mammal's hunting habits are captured on video. Then, a "group date," some romantic behavior and a baby dolphin. All hearts melt when 10 of these gentle creatures pay a visit to a small dock to feed on fish scraps and play with the local children.
A mysterious claim has drawn 2 veteran wildlife filmmakers from Japan to the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Legend has it that elephants, the largest creatures on land, can be found on Africa's highest peak. The quest is the first of its kind: a 42-day trek into the high-elevation wilderness to film mountain-climbing elephants! The arduous expedition reveals why a range of animals head to Kilimanjaro during the dry season. Many surprises await the Darwin crew, resulting in a worldwide exclusive!
Wildlife photographer Hiroshi Yokota has closely observed Asiatic black bears in the Ashio Mountains north of Tokyo for 30 years. He leads the Darwin team deep into the forest in search of his favorite cub he's affectionately named Jiro. Over the span of several years we follow many phases of Jiro's life, not all of which end happily. It's a tale of nature laid bare: breathtaking, unforgiving, and cruel. Through it all, Jiro's resilience and Yokota's devotion provide valuable lessons for us all.
Hundreds of thousands of insect species make their home in the jungles of Costa Rica. But it's a constant battle for survival. Bugs of all shapes and sizes have had to develop unique defensive strategies just to make it through the day. Some use color to advertise their venomous shield; others blend in by mimicking the natural environment. A few even resemble excrement to guard their privacy ... with great success! But none will capture your heart like a tiny yellow bug that smiles and dances!
Wildlife cinematographer Nobuaki Hirano is called to the outskirts of Tokyo to investigate a strange autumn occurrence: hornet nests are being attacked and plundered. But by what? In the forests of Okutama, Hirano finds nature's drama always on display as he films the fall foliage and an array of wild animals. Bears and monkeys come down from the hills to feast on fruits in local villages. A species of bird actually encourages angry ants to attack and bite it over and over again. Look out!
Wildlife cinematographer Nobuaki Hirano is on a one-year quest documenting the four seasons in Okutama on the outskirts of Tokyo. In winter, he follows the hillside streams in pursuit of brown stream frogs. The males congregate in great numbers waiting for a chance to mate. Their impatience however leads to a comically chaotic scene as they hop on and hold fast to anything, including their fellow suitors and occasionally an unsuspecting fish! Leaving behind progeny is serious business!
Wildlife cinematographer Nobuaki Hirano is on a one-year quest documenting the four seasons in Okutama on the outskirts of Tokyo. In spring, he heads into the mountains to track down a mysterious haunting "call" that permeates the nighttime air. Meanwhile, he hears that local villagers have identified a possible culprit raiding old hornets' nests. All of this takes place against the backdrop of spring, the season of new life. What Hirano's lens captures will certainly warm your heart!
Wildlife cinematographer Nobuaki Hirano is on a one-year quest documenting the four seasons in Tokyo's Okutama. In summer, he guides us through the mountains in search of a mysterious tree that "glitters" during the day. On the way, we witness an astonishing scene: the young of an endangered species of bird getting down like a professional dancer, but for reasons that leave us chuckling! From the clear running streams to the hillsides, Hirano's lens captures nature in all its glory.
The Berenty Reserve in Madagascar off the east coast of Africa is famous for its cutest and most popular resident, the ring-tailed lemur. These primitive primates form troops featuring an intricate social system. We followed 2 mothers who were expelled from their group and observed their shared commitment through thick and thin to their friendship and each other's young. It's a tale of perseverance, tragedy and redemption as they carve out a slice of territory between 2 hostile lemur troops.
Bounding through the air with the greatest of ease! The springbok's name derives from its incredible jumping ability. Called "pronking," these graceful jumps are absolutely necessary in these animals' lives. They pronk when they're happy, when finding a mate and to confuse predators. They can also make a run for it, reaching speeds of 80 kilometers an hour. But there's no running away from the competition to become dominant males. Bachelors interlock horns to establish their own mating ground.
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