They provide shade in blistering heat, shelter to animals in desperate need, and feasts when the rest of the region has dried up. They are the miracle trees of the African savannas, giving predators and herbivores the tools to stay alive in some of the harshest environments on Earth. Join us as we take a look at the sausage tree of Zambia, the marula of the Manyeleti, and the camelthorn of the Kalahari, each tree uniquely evolved to adapt to Africa's extremes, and each one an integral part of the lives of the inhabitants.
Hosted by actor Tom Cavanagh, Stories from the Vaults is a series of 30-minute shows featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The new series, produced by Caragol Wells Productions, showcases the Smithsonian's rarest treasures as Tom Cavanagh meets with the experts behind the Smithsonian and discusses what it takes to preserve these precious artifacts for the generations to come. Stories from the Vaults debuted September 2007 on Smithsonian Networks. The second season premiered Sunday July 12th, 2009.