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List of Inside Nature's Giants episodes

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Season 4

  • S4Ep4: Jungle Special  4/23/2012   

    The team take on their hardest challenge so far, to dissect an entire ecosystem - the jungle. Deep in the rainforest of Borneo they erect a high-tech dissection laboratory to investigate giant bugs and titan trees, and to reveal why the jungle is home to the most diverse collection of living things on our planet. With a team of all-star biologists, anatomists and tree climbers, they delve into the mysteries of the rainforest: how it fits together and the extraordinary roles the strange creatures that live in it play; how waterfalls flow uphill, life springs from death and parasites hold the key to holding the jungle in balance. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans climbs 60 metres into the canopy to catch the world's largest ants; comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg heads deep into the forest to catch venomous centipedes and giant moths; and biologist Simon Watt investigates the most sinister organism of them all - an enormous parasitic fig tree. Inside Nature's Giants lifts the lid on this confusing environment, delving deep into the workings of some of the rainforest's most spectacular inhabitants to bring viewers natural history like it's never been seen before.

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  • S4Ep3: The Kangaroo  4/16/2012   4

    The Australian Outback is home to millions of kangaroos but, sadly, every year thousands are fatally injured in traffic accidents. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg take the opportunity to delve inside these bizarre animals. They uncover the kangaroo's lower jaw, which splits in two, and a massive Achilles tendon that enables it to hop like a frog. But it's the reproductive anatomy they find most surprising: the male genitalia is back to front, while females have three vaginas as well as the pouch in which they grow their young from jelly-bean-sized embryos. Meanwhile, Simon Watt heads into the Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Back in 1836, when the young naturalist visited Australia, he wondered why the animals there were so different to those back home. Joined by Darwin's great, great grandson Christopher, Simon goes in search of some of these other creatures. Including a bird that decorates its nest with an assortment of blue ornaments - from clothes pegs to bottle tops - and a primitive mammal that lays eggs like a reptile. Christopher explains how these animals and the island they live on played a crucial role in developing his ancestor's then-heretical ideas on evolution.

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  • S4Ep2: The Hippo  4/9/2012   5

    So many hippos congregate to feed in Zambia's Luangwa Valley that they threaten the survival of other species in the park, so the authorities cull around 200 of them every year. The cull offers veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg the opportunity to dissect one of these magnificent animals. Hippos are often mistakenly seen as Africa's laziest giant, lolling around all day in the mud. But as the team discover, at night they're surprisingly active. The first obstacle in the dissection is the hippo's inch-thick skin. This acts as a protective shield against the foot-long canines of rival hippos. Mark and Joy are amazed to discover that the skin produces its own sun cream. As they delve deeper into the guts and weigh the contents of the stomach, the vast quantities of half-digested vegetation confirm the hippo's reputation as a gluttonous feeding machine. Meanwhile, Simon Watt searches for hippo dung to find out why these grazers incessantly flick their muck using their short tails. Richard Dawkins reveals the surprising fact that the hippos' closest living relatives are whales. As the dissection draws to a close, Joy finally succeeds in extracting the hippo's voice-box and finds a remarkable similarity with their ocean-dwelling cousins.

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  • S4Ep1: Rogue Baboon  1/10/2012   

    Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg travel to South Africa to dissect the first primate on Inside Nature's Giants: a huge alpha male baboon that led a band of baboons on a rampage through a Cape Town suburb until the authorities were forced to euthanise him as he grew increasingly violent. Intricate dissection of muscles and tendons reveals how remarkably similar human and baboon hands are. Meanwhile, Simon Watt discovers how these primates have adapted to survive in the suburbs of their fellow primates.

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