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About the show

The mysteries of nature uncovered

David Attenborough presents three fascinating series looking at extraordinary creatures that have kept him baffled for years.

From the peculiar patterns on a zebra to the evolutionary quirk of the egg-laying platypus, each episode of series one explores the stories behind two natural curiosities that are linked in some way. David reveals why the narwhal has inspired art and the mythical unicorn, why one animal has a particularly long neck and why another animal has really wrinkly skin.

Combining David’s brilliant storytelling skills and his passion for nature, this documentary reveals the secrets behind some of nature’s most curious animals.

Host

David Attenborough - Profile Image

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough's career as a broadcaster and naturalist has endured for an impressive 60 years. His accessible storytelling has inspired generations to learn more about the natural world and brought to life all creatures great and small on our television screens.

He joined the BBC as a trainee producer in 1952. While working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64), he gained his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat.

He moved into management as Controller of BBC2 in 1965, during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, and then served as Director of Programmes for the organisation from 1969 to 1972. In 1973, he abandoned administration altogether to return his great passion – making natural history documentaries.

His stable of landmark BBC series include Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), Life of Mammals (2002), Life in the Undergrowth (2005), Life in Cold Blood (2008) and First Life (2010).

He has received honorary degrees from many universities across the world, and is patron or supporter of many charitable organisations, including acting as patron of the World Land Trust, which buys rainforest and other lands to preserve them and the animals that live there.

He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in black and white, colour, HD, and 3D formats.

Next on...

Episode 3, Series 4

Friday April 20 at 00:50

Extreme Babies

In this episode about extreme babies, find out why pandas gives birth to the smallest, most dependent babies of any mammal and why kiwis produce eggs that are almost too big to lay…

Episode 3, Series 4

Friday April 20 at 13:15

Extreme Babies

In this episode about extreme babies, find out why pandas gives birth to the smallest, most dependent babies of any mammal and why kiwis produce eggs that are almost too big to lay…

Episode 4, Series 4

Friday April 20 at 18:30

Curious Counters

Can animals count? Just over a hundred years ago, a German horse called Hans was declared a mathematical genius - but all was not as it seemed. 4/6

Episode 5, Series 4

Friday April 20 at 19:00

Incredible Shells

David Attenborough investigates two shells that have proved to be winners in evolution: the formidable bird's eggshell and the hard shell of the tortoise. 5/6

Episode 4, Series 4

Saturday April 21 at 00:25

Curious Counters

Can animals count? Just over a hundred years ago, a German horse called Hans was declared a mathematical genius - but all was not as it seemed. 4/6

Episode 5, Series 4

Saturday April 21 at 00:50

Incredible Shells

David Attenborough investigates two shells that have proved to be winners in evolution: the formidable bird's eggshell and the hard shell of the tortoise. 5/6

Episode 4, Series 4

Saturday April 21 at 05:30

Curious Counters

Can animals count? Just over a hundred years ago, a German horse called Hans was declared a mathematical genius - but all was not as it seemed. 4/6

Episode 4, Series 4

Monday April 23 at 07:40

Curious Counters

Can animals count? Just over a hundred years ago, a German horse called Hans was declared a mathematical genius - but all was not as it seemed. 4/6

Episode 5, Series 4

Monday April 23 at 08:05

Incredible Shells

David Attenborough investigates two shells that have proved to be winners in evolution: the formidable bird's eggshell and the hard shell of the tortoise. 5/6

Episode 4, Series 4

Monday April 23 at 12:50

Curious Counters

Can animals count? Just over a hundred years ago, a German horse called Hans was declared a mathematical genius - but all was not as it seemed. 4/6

Episode 5, Series 4

Monday April 23 at 13:15

Incredible Shells

David Attenborough investigates two shells that have proved to be winners in evolution: the formidable bird's eggshell and the hard shell of the tortoise. 5/6

Episode 1, Series 1

Tuesday May 8 at 06:00

Stretched to the Limit

A look at two curiosities of nature - an animal with a super-stretched neck and another with a stretchy tongue. 1/5

Episode 2, Series 1

Tuesday May 8 at 06:25

A Curious Hoax?

David Attenborough discovers the curiosities that have led to accusations of forgery and have ultimately helped us rethink evolution. 2/5

Episode 3, Series 1

Tuesday May 8 at 06:50

Young Wrinklies

David encounters two examples where curious bodies and extreme lifestyles may unlock the secrets of the ageing process and longevity. 3/5

Episode 1, Series 1

Saturday June 9 at 06:25

Stretched to the Limit

A look at two curiosities of nature - an animal with a super-stretched neck and another with a stretchy tongue. 1/5

Episode 2, Series 1

Saturday June 9 at 06:45

A Curious Hoax?

David Attenborough discovers the curiosities that have led to accusations of forgery and have ultimately helped us rethink evolution. 2/5

Episode 3, Series 1

Saturday June 9 at 07:10

Young Wrinklies

David encounters two examples where curious bodies and extreme lifestyles may unlock the secrets of the ageing process and longevity. 3/5

Episode 4, Series 1

Saturday June 16 at 06:00

A Curious Twist

David looks at how the narwhal's tusk has inspired art and the myth of the unicorn, and why it is still a conundrum. 4/5

Episode 5, Series 1

Saturday June 16 at 06:25

Seeing the Pattern

David looks at two examples of animal patterns that have baffled scientists for years. 5/5

Episode 1, Series 2

Saturday June 16 at 06:45

Virgin Birth

Sir David Attenborough examines the unusual ways in which Komodo dragons and aphids reproduce. 1/10

BBC Earth

Be curious. Be inspired. Be amazed.

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South African audiences have access to five BBC TV channels: BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC World News.