The all things Natural HIstory thread

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  • JoelStinty 6 Oct 2014 20:21:33 7,840 posts
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    A thread for all things nature, Attenborough, news, documentaries, travel and tree hugging etc.

    I had a search for a similar thread but only came up with a planet earth thread, so if there Is one mods feel free to merge this one and delete it.

    So let's get started huh. This aired last night http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p026glmp/wonders-of-the-monsoon-1-waiting-for-the-rains

    Anyone catch it? Contains running lizards, bats playing chicken with crocodiles and attempted ass raping. 'Twas enjoyable.
  • mal 6 Oct 2014 21:36:48 29,326 posts
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    Saw a bit of that, but as it directly followed Jungle Atlantis (which I only half watched) it felt a little repetitive. Worth catching up on you reckon then?
  • Deleted user 6 October 2014 21:48:08
    Great idea for a thread. Natural history is probably my most favourite tv watching/book reading topic. I don't watch much tv at all but will check out that programme. I think there's a new BBC show, 'Life Story', coming some time this month. Should be interesting, perhaps a loose follow up to Trials of Life.

    Right now I'm reading Plants from Roots to Riches, a broad survey of the history of Kew Gardens tied in with major discoveries in botany over the past two or three hundred years. It's a very interesting and entertaining read, apparently based on the Radio 4 series of the same name.
  • JoelStinty 6 Oct 2014 21:49:42 7,840 posts
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    @mal

    To be honest it's typical bbc documentary goodness. Great camera work. Some stuff you probably seen before. They did start to look at human culture, albeit feeling brief. I.e how lack of monsoon effects the Indian stock market and it's impact on older cultures which felt quite fresh.

    Worth downloading? Maybe , but catch it if you can.

    Definitely worth watching if you generally like this sort of stuff.

    Edited by Great-Googly-Moogly at 21:51:20 06-10-2014
  • JoelStinty 6 Oct 2014 22:01:08 7,840 posts
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    @zoolophage aye it's one thing I will make time for TV wise. Really get interested by this sort of stuff. You're right, there is a new series coming soon. It looks like it's getting the full bbc/Attenborough attention too. A fair few adverts aired already.

    Recently I read Captains Scott's journals and cherry garrards worse journey in the world book, both leaving a big impression on me. The amount of scientific exploration undertaken on that trip surprised me, but reading their enthusiasm for nature was intoxicating. To the point they were hauling fossilised stones with them on the return journey from the South Pole and poor cherry party suffering the worse conditions in searching for a emperor penguin egg!

    So yeah, I been really interested in natural history in the last few years. To the point I'm considering/saving up for a 12 week ( I can do less or more if I want) conservation trip next year.
  • Deleted user 6 October 2014 22:09:04
    There goes that old mallard
  • MrFlay 7 Oct 2014 01:17:31 3,894 posts
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    The older Attenborough series are well worth watching and are far superior to over-produced and spectacle obsessed series like Planet Earth and Life. The Tribal Eye, Life on Earth and the First Eden are brilliant and really benefit from Attenborough's involvement with the scripts and presentation. I don't think he actually writes any of the flashier, more recent series like Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Frozen Planet and Africa. I have all these on Bluray but I'd much prefer a complete Life series in HD along with his earlier work.
  • mal 7 Oct 2014 01:43:38 29,326 posts
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    FWIW, a lot of D. Attenborough's early stuff is up on t'iplayer. I dunno how long it's been up, as I only came across it the other day.

    Here you go, knock yourselves out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/group/p00zw1jd

    Edit: It's all a bit earlier than the stuff Mr Flay is talking about, so none of them are classics, but it's all interesting if you're interested in his programmes since.

    Edited by mal at 01:45:11 07-10-2014
  • MrFlay 7 Oct 2014 01:50:23 3,894 posts
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    His books are great too but sadly are all out of print. You can get them in Oxfam or on eBay.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 06:27:55
    This summer I've really enjoyed reading up on wildflowers. So now when I'm out and about I see something and think "oh, that's pineapple weed or sun spurge" etc. I'm still pretty terrible at identifying stuff but it's amazing the amount of nature that is everywhere. It's not big or flashy but it's accessible and interesting.

    Anyone noticed the large amount of recycling of footage that goes on in BBC wildlife docs? I'm pretty sure they've shown almost identical footage in several of them?

    Favourite animals...have to be musk ox and Greenland shark.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 07:17:54
    How To Be Wild by Simon Barnes is a good book that explores the enriching qualities of identifying with the natural world. As I mentioned previously, one of my ongoing hobbies is to identify stuff that I see. I like to be able to identify common birds, insects, flowers, different types of rocks, trees etc. A few weeks ago I set up a bird table in my garden and have been observing the habits of house sparrows, starlings and robins. It's interesting what can be gleaned from simple observation, keeping your eyes and ears open.
  • Trafford 7 Oct 2014 08:21:59 8,347 posts
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    Tweet of the Day on Radio 4 is good. On at 0555 each morning and iPlayer.
    A snapshot of birds and their song. Sometimes Attenborough does them, the Puffin noise had the Breakfast show laughing until 9.
  • JuanKerr 7 Oct 2014 08:27:41 37,710 posts
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    zoolophage wrote:
    How To Be Wild by Simon Barnes is a good book that explores the enriching qualities of identifying with the natural world.
    I've got his birdwatching books and they are really good - learnt a hell of a lot in the past year or two. His weekly columns in the Times are excellent as well.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 08:37:09
    @JuanKerr

    Which day is his column published? I noted that Simon Barnes is very much into identifying birds via their song. He has a book about it.
  • Trowel 7 Oct 2014 08:41:35 22,531 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    Tweet of the Day on Radio 4 is good. On at 0555 each morning and iPlayer.
    A snapshot of birds and their song. Sometimes Attenborough does them, the Puffin noise had the Breakfast show laughing until 9.
    We did the BBC Bristol tour a few weeks ago and met the guy who mixes TotD - it's cobbled together from loads of old sound effect clips, any Attenborough voice-overs included
  • JuanKerr 7 Oct 2014 08:53:02 37,710 posts
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    zoolophage wrote:
    @JuanKerr

    Which day is his column published? I noted that Simon Barnes is very much into identifying birds via their song. He has a book about it.
    Saturday.

    Yeah, I've got his 'Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed' book - highly recommended.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 09:03:16
    Yeah, the Greenland shark is no beauty but it has an interesting look. There are plenty of ugly deep sea fish and creatures as well, some of them even quite terrifying looking. Toadfish are pretty neat.
  • JuanKerr 7 Oct 2014 09:15:27 37,710 posts
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    I love those ugly deep sea fish. The Anglerfish is brilliant.

  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 09:20:57
    Yeah, Blue Planet has a good episode about deep sea life.
  • JoelStinty 7 Oct 2014 10:16:26 7,840 posts
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    deep sea episodes are some of my favourite. The range of shapes and lights are dazzling. There is always something that surprises me. And to think there is a lot we don't know.
  • DaM 7 Oct 2014 10:59:57 17,323 posts
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    Less biodiversity than previously thought.
  • neems 7 Oct 2014 11:27:05 4,547 posts
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    @MrFlay

    I still maintain that Planet Earth is the best thing you can get on Blu-Ray, but in all honesty I wouldn't call it a Natural History documentary as it has very little scientific or educational value. As a piece of eye candy though... simply jaw dropping.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 11:30:22
    To be fair, the blobfish probably looks a good deal better when it's viewed in its natural deep ocean habitat, where it is subject to massive pressures. Otherwise it blows up like an ugly Kirby.
  • Immaterial 7 Oct 2014 11:52:24 2,308 posts
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    DaM wrote:
    Less biodiversity than previously thought.
    Basically, we've eaten more than we thought.
  • Deleted user 7 October 2014 14:46:54
    neems wrote:
    @MrFlay

    I still maintain that Planet Earth is the best thing you can get on Blu-Ray, but in all honesty I wouldn't call it a Natural History documentary as it has very little scientific or educational value. As a piece of eye candy though... simply jaw dropping.
    A pet peeve of mine is the docs that comprise mostly of flashy footage, graphics and interviews with experts. There was a bbc series on dinosaurs two or three years ago and it managed to spin out probably 10 minutes of content per episode into 30 minutes. I appreciate that programmes have to have broad appeal but it would be nice if they were occasionally more challenging. There is no need to explain the same thing in three different ways. On the other hand, I once read a book called Life Ascending, chock full of fairly complex scientific stuff that was a real challenge.
  • Load_2.0 7 Oct 2014 15:34:17 29,322 posts
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    Anyone ever get a boner watching dinosaurs?

    Probably all of you, weird right?
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