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Series in which Chris Packham uses groundbreaking science and brand-new behaviour to delve deep beneath the skin and discover the unique features that have made certain animal groups successful.

Genres: Adventure | Travel | Outdoors/Wildlife
Station: BBC Four (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Ended
Start: 2014-08-13

The Wonder of Animals Air Dates


S01E09 - Dolphins Air Date: 08 October 2014 19:00 -

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Chris Packham explores the success of the most widespread of marine mammals, the dolphin. Contrary to their amiable reputation, they are, in fact, ruthless predators. They hunt using a combination of specialised anatomy and complex communication, requiring a big brain.

Chris explains the inner workings of dolphin echolocation, reveals how a pod uses body movements to communicate the location of food and explores the strategies used by orcas during a hunt.


S01E10 - Bats Air Date: 15 October 2014 19:00 -

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Bats have colonised remote corners of the planet to become one of most widespread mammals on earth. Chris Packham explores their incredible anatomy, physiology and senses to understand what enables them to thrive in some surprising places.

Tiny hairs on their wings give them a detailed air-flow map during flight, heat sensors on the nose of vampire bats means they can sense the most blood-rich areas of a prey's body and iron oxide particles in the bat brain may act as a compass allowing them to find the most direct route back to the roost.


S01E11 - Snakes Air Date: 22 October 2014 19:00 -

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Chris Packham delves beneath a snake's skin to discover what has made them some of the most successful predators on earth. Their simple body plan hides remarkable adaptations that enable them to rival their limbed, winged and finned counterparts.

Chris reveals the variety of ways in which snakes use their bodies not just to slither, but to climb, fly and swim. He explores how they use their senses to hunt, from heat-sensitive pits used to capture prey in the dark to tongues used to lure fish, and how venom acts not just to kill prey but also to predigest it.


S01E12 - Birds of Prey Air Date: 29 October 2014 20:00 -

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Chris Packham explores what enables birds of prey to rule the aerial roost. Their ability to dominate their fellow birds in terms of strength, manoeuvrability and phenomenal speed is down to a combination of anatomical and physiological adaptations.

Chris explains the internal workings of the bald eagle's ratchet talons and how sharp eyes and a gyroscopic head enable the goshawk to keep its sight firmly fixed on both its prey and its surroundings as it tears through the undergrowth. New research reveals how pop-up feathers on the peregrine falcon's back act like pits on a golf ball to reduce drag - allowing it to reach 220mph.

The Wonder of Animals Actors

Chris Packham(Presenter)



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