An elephant herd in Namibia is observed, as the matriarch, called Knob Nose, leads eighteen other elephants through the unforgiving terrain. Also: Ginger Mauney and her veterinarian husband present their findings on the animals.
America's national parks, scanning the country's wilderness heritage. Included: Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park; elk herding in Yellowstone; the beauties of the Grand Canyon and the Everglades; a coral jungle off the Virgin Islands; and the grandeur of the giant sequoias.
A behind-the-scenes look at the Soviet Circus includes a stunning aerial performance in Lvov; the Soviet Union's most famous clown; and the Moscow Circus School, which annually accepts only 70 out of 1000 applicants.
Documenting Jane Goodall's study of chimpanzees, begun in 1960 in Tanzania's Gombe Stream Game Reserve. The animals display temperaments that range from shy to violent. Vivid footage also shows chimpanzee clans engaged in organized warfare.
A look at memorable moments from the series concludes with creatures of Africa's Namib Desert; a voyage down the Volga River; a look at China's efforts to breed giant pandas in captivity; and a visit to Siberia.
How flowers engage in "Sexual Encounters of the Floral Kind" with insects that transport pollen from plant to plant. Included: a look at the Australian hammer orchid, which assumes the shape of a female wasp to attract pollen-laden males.
"Australia's Animal Mysteries"---and scientific efforts to unravel them. Included: some of the 50 species of kangaroos; the platypus, a duck-billed, egg-laying mammal; the koala (a marsupial, not a bear); and the flying opossum.
A 1965 documentary about chimpanzee research in Tanzania, conducted by Jane Goodall. Films of the chimpanzee community illustrate Goodall's findings: the primates improvise and use tools---a vital step in the evolution of man.
A journey down the Amazon, from its source in the Peruvian Andes to its mouth in northern Brazil. Views of isolated forest tribes include a school for witch doctors. Also: a ruined Inca city; an American expatriate who captures wildlife for zoos; piranha fish attacking their kill.
A look at the cities near Vesuvius, the volcano in Italy with 50 eruptions since Roman times. Its most famous eruption in A.D. 79 obliterated Pompeii and Herculaneum, causing instantaneous death. Also visited: the fishing town of Pozzuoli; and San Sebastiano.
A chronicle of Mel Fisher's quest for the Atocha, a sunken galleon believed to contain silver and gold. Fisher is seen combing the Florida Keys for clues to the ship's uncharted whereabouts and waging a legal battle with authorities claiming state jurisdiction over his haul.
The origins and evolution of humans are examined through archival and contemporary footage. Included: Richard Leakey's 1984 unearthing of a 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton; and Ofar Bar Yosef's research in Israel of a cave once inhabited by Neanderthals.
An examination of Great Britain studies the country's daily life and traditional pageantry. Included: views of herring fishermen putting out to sea in their wooden boats; a youth being apprenticed to a company of lightermen, thereby participating in a family occupation dating to 1666; and a segment on life on the island of Sark.
Part 1 of a two-part retrospective on the series. Included: an exploration of the human body; Dr. Leakey's study of primates and evolution; a voyage on the QE2; a look at gray whales off the coast of Mexico.
The world of birds is examined, including bird evolution, the mechanics of flight and birds' ability to mimic. Observed: the courting rituals of the albatross and the bird of paradise (filmed by German naturalist Heinz Sielmann).
Traveling by foot, dog sled and raft, four men retrace a gold-rush route through the Klondike. Like the prospectors of the 1890s, they trek across the snowbound Chilkoot Pass and down the Yukon River. Also: a stop at Dawson, a restored frontier town.
Biologists track the 2500-mile migration of the whooping crane, whose once-dwindling numbers have been increased due to the efforts of scientists. One successful breeding technique is a "foster parent" program that places eggs in the care of sandhill cranes.
Researchers are seen in a mountain region of China trying to save the panda from extinction by studying how the shy creature behaves in its natural environment. Destruction of the bamboo forests, which provide the species with food and shelter, has severely reduced its numbers.