BBC – Monkey Planet (2014)
English | Size: 3.97 GB
Zoologist George McGavin explores the world of primates, from strange lemurs and acrobatic monkeys to enigmatic apes. He uncovers the secrets of the primates’ success – their survival tactics and physical adaptations – and how their lives mirror those of their human cousins.
Ch1. Meet the Family
Our primate family is incredibly varied and surprising. From the ninja tarsier, a spring-loaded ambush predator the size of a tennis ball, to the magnificent herds of geladas in the mountains of Ethiopia, primates have adapted to environments across the planet.
In this episode, Dr George McGavin gets up close and personal with Siswi, an orangutan who uses soap to improve her personal hygiene. He strips off to experience the mind-numbing cold of the Japanese Alps and heads 100 metres underground to a secluded monkey dormitory.
Then there are baboons with a thirst for flamingo flesh, macaques with criminal minds, fluorescent mandrills who wear war paint to do battle, and Ardry, a real-life gremlin who sees the unseeable with her extraterrestrial fingers.
Ch2. Family Matters
The key to primate success is that, like us, most species live in close-knit family groups. How do you choose your friends, learn from those around you and know who to trust? We explore the complex world of primate social lifestyles.
In Peru, emperor tamarin males are conned into childcare, while vervet monkeys in South Africa have a sophisticated alarm system to warn for predators. Elsewhere, George has a very close encounter with some hunting chimpanzees.
But living in families is not always easy. In Gibraltar, barbary macaques steal babies to impress their boss. Hamadryas baboon males in Ethiopia rule with an iron fist, and in matriarchal ring-tailed lemur societies, the girls have to fight pitched battles with babies in tow.
Ch3. Master Minds
There’s one thing that sets us primates apart from most other families on the planet, and that’s a flexible mind. Our primate cousins are much smarter than you might imagine. Just like us they use tools, solve problems and even have emotions. Monkey Planet discovers how these animals are individuals with a sense of self and why brainpower is essential to primate survival.
In Thailand, long-tailed macaques floss their teeth with human hair and use tools to open oysters on the beach. In Uganda, chimps pass on cultures and customs through generations. George McGavin goes to orangutan school in Sumatra and meets a bonobo in the States who can order his own picnic on a smart phone and toast marshmallows in a fire he makes himself.