Nature: Season 31 (2012 - 2013)

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Season 31
Nature

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 10, 2012

Biologist Chris Morgan travels to the forests of eastern Russia to meet wildlife filmmaker Sooyong Park, who achieved something remarkable: recording endangered Siberian tigers in their natural habitat. The majestic beasts were not willing subjects, mind you; it took Park years before he glimpsed even one. That was King Big, a 500-pound male; others included Bloody Mary and her cubs. After hearing Park's tales, Morgan sets out to find and film the elusive cats himself.

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Air date: Oct 24, 2012

This installment of the PBS series chronicles the efforts of a pair of snowy owls to raise their young during the 82-day summer season in the Arctic. While the mother protects the nest, the father hunts lemmings to feed his family. But this year the rodents are not as plentiful as others, forcing the father to travel farther afield than usual. As a result, the owls move their nest closer to the food source, an odyssey that takes them across a river -- and because the owlets have yet to learn to fly, they have no choice but to swim.

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Air date: Nov 7, 2012

A look at cross-species bonds between animals and what they may say about animal emotions. Included: remarks from animal scientists Temple Grandin and Marc Bekoff.

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Air date: Nov 14, 2012

Paul Giamatti narrates this look at the world of ducks, which focuses on a male and female wood duck that meet and raise a family. The babies arrive knowing what to do and how to do it, and once in the water need no help in sifting and skimming for food. The differences between dabblers, such as wood ducks, and divers, such as ruddies, is also explained. Dabblers feast on the plants, crustaceans and larvae found atop ponds and lakes; divers, however, feed on the rocky and sandy floors.

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Air date: Jan 23, 2013

Share in David Attenborough's memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his wildlife filmmaking career.

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Air date: Jan 30, 2013

Revisit key places and events in Sir David Attenborough's wildlife filmmaking career.

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Air date: Feb 6, 2013

Focus on fields David Attenborough feels have been profoundly transformed: filmmaking, science and the environment.

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Air date: Feb 13, 2013

The ancient rite of wolves hunting buffalo is chronicled at Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aerial cameras help document the tactics employed by a wolf pack and the buffalo's evasive maneuvers. While the hunt is on during winter, come spring and summer the pack reins in its expeditions after the alpha female gives birth to pups, which need protection in addition to food. If they survive to autumn, however, they'll join in on the hunt.

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Air date: Apr 3, 2013

Ecologist J.C. Cahill leads this look at plants, which he contends are as busy and complex as humans. He explains how they "talk" to allies, eavesdrop on one another, call in insect mercenaries to protect them and nurture their young.

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Air date: Apr 17, 2013

Naturalist James Prosek examines the freshwater eel, sharing what's known about its behavior while detailing how it's become the center of a multibillion dollar business--Japan alone consumes 130,000 tons of eel a year. In Maine, baby eels are caught in the early spring as they make their way upstream from the sea; they're then shipped to China, where they're raised to maturity and distributed to the rest of the world.

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