Saturday, 27 September 2014

BBC4's "the wonder of Animals"

Chris Packham is back with another science-skewed focus on natural history with his new show "the wonder of animals". Each episode focuses on a species of animal and then looks at the science of how it has become so successful.
The first episode was about Penguins and how their feathers are masters of insulation but can also be used to aid acceleration under water via the release of air bubbles. Another episode claims Foxes can sense magnetic fields for hunting and the science behind bear hibernation is truly fascinating. All of these things have me thinking "how can we use this technology for ourselves?". The muscle-wasting defence in hibernation sounds very useful for incapacitated patients and astronauts. for example.

I think there's still a few episodes left but for those with access to BBC iplayer and like their shows in 30 minute chunks, "the wonder of animals" is well worth a look. Just don't think too much about how this knowledge was obtained - the show neatly avoids that.

Here's a taster