Nature: Season 28 (2009 - 2010)

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Season 28
Nature

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 25, 2009

This episode presents an update on Cloud, a white stallion that leads a band of wild horses in Montana's Arrowhead Mountains. The documentary details how Cloud is raising the son of a rival band's stallion while that horse raises Cloud's biological son. It also explores the efforts of the Bureau of Land Management to administer population control through infertility and traps to remove animals from the herd.

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Air date: Nov 1, 2009

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates this installment of Nature highlighting the lengths that animals will go to in order to insure the survival of their offspring. From the mother penguin who braves fierce Anarctic storms in order to incubate their eggs, to the Amaurobius spider who makes the ultimate sacrifice for the survival of her newborns, these devoted parents make sacrifices that are both extreme, and awe-inspiring.

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Air date: Nov 8, 2009

See herpetologists try to change public perception of a misunderstood snake, the black mamba.

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Air date: Nov 15, 2009

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates this installment of Nature following a baby humpback whale during her first year of life. The first order of business for the newborn whale is to learn survival skills needed to persevere during the grueling journey from Hawaii to the southeast coast of Alaska, where mother and daughter will feast on krill and work in tandem to ensure that both are well fed. When fall arrives and food supplies begin to dwindle, it's time to head back to Hawaii, the impressionable young calf observing her mother and discovering the social structures of their species along the way. Once they've returned mother and daughter will part ways, the younger whale beginning her own unique journey in the vast underwater kingdom.

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Air date: Jan 10, 2010

As the most diminutive warm-blooded mammals on Earth, trochilidae , or hummingbirds, have few competitors in terms of speed, with wings that beat an average of 200 times per second. This extraordinary rapidity enables them to perform spectacular feats virtually unknown to any other species of bird, including hovering, flying backwards, and, incredibly, flying upside down. Hummingbirds' metabolisms are also remarkable: the creatures must consume virtually half of their body weight in nectar every day, and even at this rate, the birds continually risk nighttime starvation; a survival mechanism compensates by lowering the body temperature of each at night, and reducing the heartbeat from a diurnal 600 beats per minute to a nocturnal 36. This episode of PBS's Nature series uses special cameras, capable of photographing 500 frames per second, to slow the hummingbirds down and reveal much about the mechanics of their day-to-day behavior -- including not simply nectar gathering, but vicious predatory behavior and mating rituals.

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Air date: Jan 17, 2010

Yellowstone National Park -- one of the most spectacular of all natural reserves -- witnesses a unique dynamic in the zoological realm. Although it serves as the home to a nearly endless series of animal predators and scavengers, two in particular reign supreme: the grizzly bear and the wolf. Faced with a limited food supply at Yellowstone, wolves and grizzlies must engage in fierce competition against one another to ensure survival of their respective species -- risking starvation should they fail. Each family of animals owns a unique set of strengths: grizzlies tend to attack alone, using strength, physical size, and brute force to eliminate prey and dominate the spoils of other predators, while wolves organize in vast numbers to defend their fresh kills from grizzlies. This documentary from PBS's Nature series travels inside of the said conflict to witness the wolves and bears vying against one another and thus putting survival on the line.

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Air date: Jan 31, 2010

The Balkan Peninsula of Eastern Europe made its most prominent headlines throughout history as one of the focal points of human conflict, but another, far more special side of that region exists: its natural landscapes, and the flora and fauna populating them. In this sphere are centuries-old forests, rich wetlands, daunting and majestic cliff walls and haunting plateaus. More specifically, such natural wonders as the Tara River, Skadar Lake and the Kopacki Rit Wetlands house species including the rare Balkan Lynx and some of the most exotic species of bird on the planet. This episode of the PBS documentary program Nature charts the geographic features and animals of the said region.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2010

Learn how predatory pythons have thrived in the protected wilderness of Everglades National Park.

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Air date: Apr 4, 2010

Nature examines the predators and prey of the world's grasslands, including the wildebeest of Africa's Serengeti, which risk becoming lion meals unless they maintain a 50-yard safety zone from the big cats, and the ground squirrels of California's grasslands, which flick their tails at rattlesnakes in order to fool the reptiles' heat-sensing pits so they perceive them as larger than they really are.

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Air date: Apr 11, 2010

Nature looks at the bio-engineering of jungle animals and insects, including leaf-cutter ants that are capable of carrying materials 10 times their weight, trap-jaw ants that possess a bite force 300 times their weight, Cuban crocodiles that can leap up to six feet out of the water to catch prey, and basilisk lizards that can walk on water due to wide-webbed feet and a unique gait. Also featured are ospreys and bats.

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