OU on the BBC: Life in Cold Blood - ARCHIVE

Another chance to join David Attenborough on his journey into the world of reptiles and amphibians.

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Thursday 12th June 2014
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under TV, Life in Cold Blood
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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.

"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.

  • In 2014, Life In Cold Blood is showing on BBC Two and Eden Channel

First broadcast: Monday 4 Feb 2008 on BBC ONE

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