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Life In Cold Blood

David Attenborough explores the lives of amphibians and reptiles - cold blood, but amazing creatures. Watch clips and find out more.

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David Attenborough and a frog Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC Sir David Attenborough brings viewers the final chapter of his epic overview of life on Earth as he transforms perceptions of cold-blooded animals in this landmark BBC One series Life In Cold Blood.

See clips and a guide to the episodes

"Reptiles and amphibians are sometimes thought of as slow, dim-witted and primitive," says David. "In fact they can be lethally fast, spectacularly beautiful, surprisingly affectionate and extremely sophisticated."

David first brought viewers Life On Earth, then The Private Life Of Plants, followed by The Life Of Birds, The Life Of Mammals and Life In The Undergrowth.

Now, using the very latest in filming technology from the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit – including ultra-high-speed, thermal, miniature and on-board cameras – David reveals the surprising and intimate lives of the cold-blooded reptiles and amphibians, discovering the secret of their success. After all, they have ruled the Earth for nearly 200 million years and, today, there are well over 14,000 species.

From the largest and most dangerous reptiles on Earth demonstrating tender and sensual courtship, to tortoises and horned chameleons jousting dramatically, flashing anolis lizards and waving jacky dragons, the Life In Cold Blood team capture previously unseen behaviour bringing their unknown lives to the screen as never before.

Tiny scarlet frogs engage in sumo wrestling, baby worm-like caecilians feast on their mother's skin, mother salamanders viciously defend their broods against marauders and spectacled caiman are filmed taking care of crèches of up to 100 young.

After each main programme, there is a 10-minute feature, Under The Skin, produced in collaboration with the Open University. It follows David as he examines the technology used by scientists that enable the team to bring this incredible animal behaviour to the small screen. These features may not be shown by all channels.

This series was first broadcast on Monday 4 Feb 2008 on BBC ONE; it is often repeated on BBC channels, as well as Yesterday and Eden channels.

Episode guide & clips

Land Invaders

From steamy jungles to dry deserts, amphibians have taken their first footsteps onto land using their bizarre life histories to break their ties with the water and invade the earth.

This episode delves into the extraordinary and intimate lives of the soft skinned amphibians. This includes the marsupial frogs, a peculiar species where the father carries his young in pouches and then gives birth. It also features warring giant salamanders over a metre long and show-off newts that offer displays just like underwater birds of paradise.

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
The Cold-Blooded Truth Take a closer look at these fascinating creatures - and watch some extraordinary clips. Read more
Land Invaders How did these creatures leave the water and come to the land? Read more
Dragons Of The Dry The strange little frog that waves... but why? Read more
Sophisticated Serpents They get a bad rap in the Bible, but snakes are really quite wonderful Read more
Armoured Giants The heavyweights of the cold-blooded world. Read more