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  • Run Hide be Invisible – Revealing the Leopard – PBS/NATURE (2010)

    Run Hide be Invisible – Revealing the Leopard – PBS/NATURE (2010)

    The Leopard (Felis pardus Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the most successful big cats of our time. It’s ability to adapt to different climates and habitats enabled spreading out of Africa into Asia. They live in diverse habitats such as forests, subtropical and tropical savannas, grasslands, rocky and mountainous regions, and even deserts. The leopard can live in both warm and cold climates. It has a very broad food base ranging from insects to large mammals. In Africa this cat […]

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  • Leave It to Beavers – PBS (2014)

    Leave It to Beavers – PBS (2014)

    There are two species of beavers in the temperate zones of the world. North American (Castor canadensis) and Eurasian (Castor fiber) beavers were almost exterminated to extinction. These rodents are the largest after the tropical capybara that lives in wetlands of the South American tropics. Now bouncing back from extinction beaver populations are recovering under protection. Beavers are being recognized as keystone species by ecologists and conservation biologists. As habitat constructors and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers can recharge water tables and […]

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  • Let Them Eat Flies! KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Let Them Eat Flies! KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Insects are a hugely successful group of organisms. Their evolution transformed life on land immensely especially influencing flowering plant evolution. Insects also play a large role as food sources. Here in this KQED documentary we see how a fly farm in Ohio rears a common insect, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) to be used as food for fish farms. Some City farms have successfully been growing fish beneath the plants which helps recycling of nutrients reducing fertilizer use. Aquaponics […]

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  • Your Inner Fish – Neil Shubin – PBS (2014)

    Your Inner Fish – Neil Shubin – PBS (2014)

    Your Inner Fish, is the first installment of a three part PBS series by Neil Shubin. After a quick review of our shared anatomy with the fish and a whirlwind tour along the evolutionary timeline, the program plunges us into the fascinating saga of discovery of the tetrapods that explains how limbs of the terrestrial vertebrates came to be. Watch how the legendary 375 million year old (Devonian) tetrapod fossil Tiktaalik was discovered after a series of adventurous Arctic expeditions. […]

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  • Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Energy flows, nutrients cycle. This is how we can define working principles of an ecosystem in a nutshell. Our planet has a very complex land-air-water interaction and we are only beginning to understand the behavior of these systems by simplifying them in enclosed systems such as Landscape Evolution Laboratory (LEO). Due to its proximity, the Moon appears to be the most convenient celestial body to colonize. The Moon is so close that it can even occasionally get shielded by the […]

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  • Coelacanth: The Fish That Time Forgot – PBS NOVA (2001)

    Coelacanth: The Fish That Time Forgot – PBS NOVA (2001)

    Coelacanth morphology and genome has been extremely informative in understanding tetrapod evolution. Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer was the curator of a natural history museum in East London. In 1938 a local fisher brought a curious fish specimen which was to become a major discovery in evolutionary biology. Latimer described the fish as Latimeria chalumnae. The fish was over 1 m long, bluish in color. Most interestingly it had fleshy fins that resembled the limbs of terrestrial vertebrates. The discovery was a hugely interesting […]

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  • Chasing El Niño – Carol L. Fleisher – PBS NOVA (1998)

    Chasing El Niño – Carol L. Fleisher – PBS NOVA (1998)

    Can we predict El Niño? Moreover can we calculate it’s severity and effects on different parts of the world? On board the research ship Ka’imimoana scientists carry out measurements and then build computer models to understand the climate cycle that produces El Niño. The documentary “Chasing El Niño” was released by the aftermath of an intense El Niño event observed during 1997/1998 measured. In March 2015 climatologists have started to detect early signs of another one beginning to develop. They […]

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  • The Shape of Life: Sponges – PBS (2002)

    The Shape of Life: Sponges – PBS (2002)

    Evolutionarily, sponges are considered to be the oldest and most ancestral surviving species of the multicellular animal lineage going back to more than 750 million years ago. They are notorious filter feeders. Famous German zoologist Ernst Haeckel quite accurately illustrated many sponges as early as 1872. They have an extraordinary capacity to filter dissolved nutrients through a specialized group of cells called choanocyte. Encrusting sponge tissues are made of choanocytes forming canals that converge at the openings called oscula where […]

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  • Earth from Space – NOVA (PBS) 2013

    Earth from Space – NOVA (PBS) 2013

    Earth from Space is an excellent overview of global cycles. NASA visualizations based on Earth Observation System (EOS) show us how massive scale interactions among ocean, land, atmosphere and life determine the climate all driven by solar energy. The instruments in EOS satellites are so accurate that even the effects of most unexpected and sudden events like the Chelyabinsk Airburst Event of 2013 can be tracked and measured as it is happening in real time. These instant high resolution measurements […]

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  • The Queen of Trees PBS (2006)

    The Queen of Trees PBS (2006)

    Queen of Trees is now viewable on the official YouTube Channel of Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble. Veteran wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble once again put out a marvelous work by compiling observations on a community centered around a sycamore fig tree. The success of the documentary comes from their long-term observations in a particular filming spot in Kenya where they camped on location for more than two years. A thorough understanding of the landscape with it’s inhabitants […]

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  • American Eagle – PBS Nature (2008)

    American Eagle – PBS Nature (2008)

    This PBS Nature documentary outlines the life cycle and biology of the iconic Bald Eagle. The plot is centered around two breeding pairs in Iowa and Minnesota. Both nests were installed webcams and have attracted millions of viewers from all over the world. The nests are still active and pairs are now preparing for the breeding season. The nest in Iowa is next to Decorah Fish Management Station. As a top predator highly adapted for fish prey the location provided […]

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  • Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air – PBS (2010)

    Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air – PBS (2010)

    Hummingbirds. Today they are strictly found on American continent but there are hummingbird-like fossil specimens from Germany hinting that this group might have been more widespread in its evolutionary past. More than 8000 species of plants have evolved to get their pollination services from hummingbirds. In 2013 a 50 million year old fossil showed the earliest ancestor of hummingbirds. With a heart beating at 600 beats per minute hummingbirds are champions of survival. The PBS documentary explores a rich repertoire […]

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  • The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan – PBS (2009)

    The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan – PBS (2009)

    Domestication is a defining feature of recent human evolution. In animals first trait selected by humans was behavior. In plants harvestability through selection of non-shattering seeds was the first trait of domestication. Plant domestication paved the way to agriculture which enabled highly specialized sedentary human societies. Domesticated plants differ from their wild ancestors in distinct ways that can be categorized under a term called as the domestication syndrome. Domestication syndrome includes reduced shattering of seeds (seeds don’t separate from the […]

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