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2009, Nature  -   97 Comments
Ratings: 7.04/10 from 24 users.

Life is a nature documentary series made for BBC television, first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD from October to December 2009. The series takes a global view of the specialized strategies and extreme behavior that living things have evolved in order to survive; what Charles Darwin termed "the struggle for existence". Four years in the making, the series has been shot entirely in high definition.

The UK broadcast of Life consists of ten 50-minute episodes. The opening programme gives a general introduction to the series, a second looks at plants and the remainder are dedicated to the major animal groups. They aim to show common features that have contributed to the success of each group, and to document intimate and dramatic moments in the lives of selected species chosen for their charisma or their extraordinary behavior. A ten-minute making-of feature Life on Location airs at the end of each episode, taking the total running time to 60 minutes.

Life is produced by the BBC Natural History Unit in association with the Discovery Channel, Skai TV and the Open University. The original script, used in the British and Canadian versions of the series, was written and narrated by David Attenborough. In the USA, the series was shown in an 11-part run beginning in March 2010, with narration by Oprah Winfrey.

The series is marketed internationally under the BBC Earth brand and is distributed by BBC Worldwide. It has already been acquired by several Latin American broadcasters and by Discovery Channel Canada, where it made its North American premiere on 15 November 2009.

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97 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Piano Hands

    Does anyone know if the soundtrack is available to buy?

  2. ThisDarkChestOfWonders

    Would be perfect if oprah wasn't the narrator. But still one of the best nature docs ever. If you liked planet earth and havent seen this, then its a must see.

    1. Gwion Williams

      Oprah and not David Attenborough are you mad boy!

  3. Damian Max W

    one, if not the most beatiful documantaries series ever made. This and BBC Earth...I allways have a tear in the eye, when I watch them... beautiful...

  4. Geoffrey MacMillan

    life is both beautiful and brutal. wonderful documentary.

    Imagine watching this from an objective point of view. "Now this strange animal, the human, gets its food from something they call a "supermarket".

  5. Isabella

    I´ve just finished watching this on big screen, And it is one of the best series of documentaries that I´ve watched. Beautiful shots, and so informative.

  6. AnjirGirl

    What an incredibly fascinating documentary! From sentimentally tearful to adorably hilarious - a masterpiece. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Milan_Boom

    The Mammals episode in the playlist has been blocked due to copyright infringement.

  8. Virat Khatri

    it is a such very attractive video ever i have seen

  9. Ricardo

    Great documentary, BBC and Attenborough, an unbeatable duo.
    I had already watched and then bought the Blu-ray version of Planet Earth series and this one might be the next.
    This one alone or a bundle of nature documentaries featuring Attenborough's past works :)

  10. NeuronFirestorm

    Vlatko, you are an invaluable asset to the web-enabled learning interest of the world. Bravo to your contributions.

    1. Vlatko

      Thanks @NeuronFirestorm.

  11. Jo McKay

    Wow. This was wonderful. Remarkable filming and a great story. You did very well showing the intelligence and development of rarely seen 'animals' and how hard they work at LIFE. Well Done and Thank You for sharing this with us. p.s. a couple of human relatable scenes, made me laugh out loud, and a few, of course, were sad...bravo

  12. Joe_nyc

    Hey boys and girls

    Do yourself a favor and go buy this series to watch it in big screen. I just finished mine and I believe I have seen THE finest nature film ever!

    There was one scene where a male chimpanzee lends his tool to a female to crack open the nuts. I knew they used tools but never realized that our closest primate relatives were also capable of sharing in such manner. It was so amazing. I almost pee'ed on my pants. :)

  13. Samusakis


    God damn you Oprah! The only way I'll be able to watch this documentary is with a bottle of vodka by my side >.>

  14. Joe_nyc

    I am willing to buy into blue-ray hype just to watch this series in HD. :)

  15. Phil

    Attenborough's work has changed my life.

  16. Phil


  17. mestari

    i am very amazed by all this diversity of life on our planet, all what i can say is behold the magnificant creation of god the one and the only. i would like also to thank the brave team who made such extraordinary effort to make this stunning work

  18. James

    Why can't the narration be heard for all the episodes of LIFE in this website? How do I go about in listening to the narrations?

  19. Saif

    simply amazing!Great camera work . Thanks very much guys for making this amazing documentary.

  20. mugen

    dave is awesome and no 1 can narrate like him. he looked like hes gettin old though when i met. gona miss you dave so u betta make more docs!!!

  21. ed

    @ tom.

    he is so good. the poor poor US.

  22. tom

    love this series and david attenborough. I saw a comment denoting oprah winfrey as the narrator, presumably for the us version. If true then i feel sorry for those americans who watch it as david attenborough has to be the best wildlife narrator of all time.

  23. Ruth

    Hi, Vlatko! it seems part of life of plants is missing on the end. It goes to 50 but is not complete. can you look at it? Thank you.

  24. ed

    speaking of genetics... ive got my molecular biology and genetics 2nd yr exam on tomoz. studying some functional genomics at the momment. poor knockin/ knockout mice.

    wish me luck!

  25. Farabi

    awesome series. regret again my slow connection. :s

  26. Randy


    Oh, my... That must have been quite a thing to see. I am envious!

    Insects and arachnids kind of "skeeve" me, but fascinate me at the same time...

    It's a dichotomy in my life.

  27. Torionto

    I especially enjoyed the footage during the Insects episode about the Monarch butterflies. I had always suspected that they migrated as birds do, but never knew for sure and had never remembered to confirm it. I had witnessed a swarm of hundreds of Monarchs flying over my yard in the late summer/ early autumn some years back, just outside of Toronto. I had never seen anything like it prior to that until now. Seeing as they only roost in such a small area in Mexico, I really hope that the forest there gets statutory protection from illegal logging.

  28. PNKlv

    True, I think it's very entertaining .... INDEED!

  29. Charles B.

    OK. This is a good night to try and conquer a few more hours of "LIFE"! A great series. I do so love Sir David Attenborough's voice.

  30. mJy hEeSaUrSt

    I don't need permission to express my opinions to anyone as long as it's done without malice and in a socially acceptable way.

    @ Ruth

    "Clever girl!" That's my favorite quote from Jurassic Park. Now I have to change my name to keep up the mystery.

  31. Ruth

    lRoUvTeHs a rRoEsDe. actually i like lilies but that is too hard to do i think.

  32. D-K

    DjOaNcTk CaAsRsE

  33. poopsicle

    Not a lot of docs keep me fully entertained till the end, this one does. Good show.

  34. Randy


    Hi, Ruth. I got the code. I wasn't impressed.

  35. Ruth

    Hi, dr. Randy. read the scrabble name again. it's a code.

  36. Randy

    @mJy hEeSaUrSt

    And I never gave YOU permission to address me at all.

    Mr... name made from scrabble tiles that fell on the floor.

    But, if you must, again, for you it will be Dr. Randy or Reverend Randy.

    I earned that.

  37. Randy

    Chucky B. impertinately wrote:

    "Randy: What? I’m getting “wrathed upon” for the glue comment?"

    I'm sorry. I don't think you addressed me properly there...

    Try rephrasing that sentence so that it doesn't make us sound like equals...

    It would be... that's right even you can do it...

    Reverend Randy.... or Dr. Randy...

    There you go... practice!

  38. Charles B.

    Randy: What? I'm getting "wrathed upon" for the glue comment? Ok. If you want. If you're like me, you get upset for 20 minutes and then say "sorry" for the next 2 days until your Asian wife finally calms down. Asian, or in your case Latino women! Salsa in a tiny little bottle, no? :-)

    Ai! Caramba!

    mJy: Yeah, sorry for the MSG religees. Let God sort them out.

    D-K: I was gonna comment, ah . . . . , never mind. :-)

    I do plan to watch this whole series, however! I love David Attenborough's voice -- like chocolate spoon-feeding us a new unseen natural world laced with MSG evolution--but it still sounds and looks great, espeically for the boy.

    51 parts X 10 min each = 510 minutes divided by 60 minutes = 7 1/2 hours! Almost. Yeah!

    Thanks Vlatko.

    Ok. I've got all the "fight" out of my system for a while. I'll try to avoid commenting for at least a few days, if I can bare not reading any more comments.


  39. D-K


    It was a rhet-..

    It wasn't really a question. Never mind.

  40. mJy hEeSaUrSt

    @ D-K

    "D-K05/16/2010 at 02:25 Doesn’t “salt” also dehydrate us and does “light” not blind us?"

    Anything can kill you if you use it wrongly. Water gives life if you drink it or takes it away if you drownd in it.

    @ Randy

    I think you are kidding, but it sounds like CB responded to you from his heart. Hold back the wrath of Randy for the sake of the whole world. Not sure if we could take it.

    @ CB

    "Salt and light" are good, but the problem is that so many Christians now are "MSG Christians". They taste look/taste good at first but are just a slow poison. What happened to the power and the love?

  41. Randy

    @Chaz B.

    I know all the names of god and all the names of Satan.

    YOU can call me Reverend Randy! High Priest of the World Wide Church of Satan! Grand Inquisitor, in the thirty-second degree, of the Sacred- Ordo Templi Orientis!

    From now on... I will always be Rev. Randy to you...

  42. Randy

    I wrote in another post but Charles B. needs to see it laid out here, because he incurred my wrath:

    "Sorry, honey. I know the bible inside and out and I know science inside and out…

    I am your worst freaking nightmare!

    As far as sexual repression, I will lay, Ted Bundy, The BTK killer, Richard Speck, and a couple of dozen serial killers that were born out of christian sexual repression…. on YOUR doorstep.

    And that is just in the last 40 years or so… there are thousands of men and women that relieve their christian, sexual oppression out on US, thanks to you! Oh, I have a solid background in psychology, as well…

    That blood is on YOUR hands!

    And then you go back in history and we talk of wars in the name of religion… torture… and it goes on and on…

    A god of FIRE and BLOOD, is what you worship!


    I know all the names of god and all the names of Satan, and I can blast you back to the bronze-age!!!!

  43. Ydnar

    O yeah Charles.. you shall rue this day! RUE IT!

  44. Randy

    Charles B. wrote:

    "I think the true Christians are the “glue” in society that holds back the darkness to the extent that it has been and without us, all Hell would break loose. Litterally."

    Um, I am the one who reached out to you! You are the evil-one, I am the Light of the World!

    And you are all up in here... taking all of the credit for your jesus...

    Whatever... man...

    See if I reach out to you again! You will feel my wrath!

    Get ready for Randy wrath, sweetheart.... better get the kids out of the room!

  45. fiddlesticks

    entertaining doc

  46. D-K

    Just a quick little observation, I meant no disruption.

    as you were..

  47. D-K

    Doesn't "salt" also dehydrate us and does "light" not blind us?

  48. Charles B.

    Randy: Being separate from is not the same as not being part of. We are called "salt" and "light" by Jesus. They have purpose: to prevent rot and dispel darkness. They are active forces for good, even when they are not trying to be. How much more so when they are willing and active in their endeavors.

    Since you were once a "Christian" then you understand perhaps part of my mindset. There is a passage in the Ezekiel, I think (not 100% the specific passage) that says that God looked for a man to stand in the "gap" and found none. The people fell on judgment because no righteous person was willing to pray and interceed and/or ask God for mercy for their nation fallen in sin.

    Our interaction together is limited to on-line exchange of ideas. We could both just watch the docs if we want to, but I admitt, the comments are almost just as engaging for me.

    I think the true Christians are the "glue" in society that holds back the darkness to the extent that it has been and without us, all Hell would break loose. Litterally.


    P.S. The mystery of genes and DNA is amazing to me. I'm just glad that not everything can interbreed. I never get tired of learning more about genetics, but I enjoy it more when in the context of a faith-based understanding of the topic.

  49. Randy

    @Charles B.

    I do not want you to abandon your god. I just don't want you to force it on me!

    And all I ask, if you are still an American, just think about all of the philosophies of the world, and the feelings of our Founding Fathers, before you vote or serve jury duty...

    I hope heaven is waiting for you and your beautiful family. Just understand, that there are people in the world who do not want "heaven".

    We want to study and know things and even if you think it's Satan driving us... let us go with him... and you go with your god.

    Isn't there a passage that purports that jesus said, "go thou, and be ye seperate!"

    (I don't believe jesus existed but, hey! if all christians went thou and beed thou seperate... we wouldn't have a problem...).

    We need science, you need mythology... science does great things... jesus don't like women... whatever!

    We are just people. Science unites us, as I said before, religion divides us...

    But surely you can put your religion aside for a moment and see us as people... just like you.

    I did, between the two of us, along time ago... you know why? Science.

  50. Charles B.

    I knew you knew, but in my deepest soul, I truly truly believe. I've seen God answer prayers and even miraculously so. How could I in a moment of "human frailty" turn my back on Him forever? That I cannot do, be it right or wrong. But, I also honestly believe my faith to be true as well, not just self-deception of some kind. God knows there's a lot of that going around, especially in the religious realm.

    In honest heartedness, what God spoke gently to my heart was the story of John the Baptist. When he say Jesus coming to be baptized, he knew precisely who He was and had no doubts. He also say the dove alight on Jesus and heard God's voice from Heaven. But, in prison, face with his death, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the One. Jesus in kindness didn't rebuke John in his moment of doubt and fear, but spoke comfort to him. That's MY Jesus and that is why I love Him so. Hardy can mock about feeling God's presence and hearing His voice, but there is truth to that statement. I put myself in the line of fire to mention it so blatantly and openly, but perhaps that is what you guys need to hear. Not many people are willing to take the shots to speak their hearts these days. Granted, it's on the Internet and not much repercussions, but still, it is a painful experience to have to grapple with your own humanity in the face of both intellectual and emotional adversity from others.

    If you don't mind me asking, "What happened?" The story about the hippy chick's odd comment about the Devil being God still seems shallow for a reason to just "walk away". Grated, you said there were more and you were oversimplifying, I'm sure.

  51. Randy

    I DID know that you were feeling a crisis of faith, Charles, I even mentioned it soon after, and I said, "I know how painful that can be".

    But I am proof that you can let go of the angry, god of fire and blood, and still be a good, moral, powerful person who is a productive member of society.

    Is all I am saying... Still... as I said... I know how painful it can be...

  52. Charles B.

    OK. I'll check back to see if it clears moderation. I think I had one or two that didn't actually. They don't all pass "The Vlatko"!

    My kids are like minor movie stars. I've had total strangers snap a shot or two of them on the train or the bus. Except for my colorblindness, I don't have any major genetic illnesses. Well, I don't consider that "major" either.

    By the way, you guys almost convinced me last week. I had a few days of near "faithlessness" and near despair; "a dark day of the soul" where I sincerely asked the question, "Is it all real?"

    Eventually and ultimately, I cannot deny Him even in the dark times. Never forget in the night what God has spoken to you in the light and when it's hard to hear His voice, do not forget that you once certainly did.

    What bothers me the most is the "time lines" for history, both modern and ancient. I'm not a "young Earther" as people call them, but it seems "wasteful" of God to have created dinosaurs, etc. just to let them go extinct unless there was a reason and a purpose for it. I'm working on the concept.

    That reminds me . . . I've got to say something snide to that stupid "purple dragon" post by Hardy on the other Darwin thread. That was mockery at it's most heinous. :-(

    LIFE is indeed a preponderance, but the greatest endeavor a man's mind can ponder is the eternal God and perhaps, if he is lucky, the answers to the other "mysteries" of "life" answer themselves in His timing. :-)

  53. eireannach666


    Try telling that to some of the rednecks out here. It would make your skin crawl looking at some of the people that are only one generation between. Freakin web toed monkeys with a drivers license. Yeeha.
    You like them like me .
    I got lucky. Caremel skin and long thick hair. (Navajo , atheist and fisty , yummy.)

  54. Randy

    @Chucky B.

    One of the things that I wrote in my moderated post had to do with how pretty your children must be... I will paste it here... maybe Vlatko thought I was being racist? Nothing could be farther from the truth as I myself am married to a woman of another ethnic-background...

    I worte:

    "Now, nature LOVES diversity, (that is a law of nature), so interbreeding within our species usually produces beautiful children. I bet yours are gorgeous!

    Diversity strengthens our species, something our early forebears didn’t realize, alas…

    My wife is Mexican/Spanish and although we never had children, (I have many horrible genetic diseases that I did not want to pass on to children), her relatives all married various races and their children are… just like… TV PRETTY!"

    And there were many other things, that may be released soon...?

  55. Randy

    Sorry Charles, my answer is in moderation for some reason... be patient, I think you will enjoy it...

  56. Randy

    @Charles B.

    So many big questions!

    Give me minute to give your questions the deliberations they deserve!

    And, yes you are right about POTUS, but I am surprised you did not know about "Marine One".

    Give me a minute to re-read your post...

  57. Charles B.

    Randy: I would guess POTUS is "President of the United States." I read once in an article that "POTUSOA" came up on the phone when he called Monica Lewinsky's phone or the office where she worked.

    Are you exaggerating the DNA similarity with chimps and humans? 99.96-8% is less than 1% and I thought from memory there was at least a 2-3% genetic difference. Unless you've found where they give a percentage of similarity with the present human genome, then you cannot make that assumption that Neanderthals were as distant as chips are from humans now. The skull in the picture looks human to me. As far as I know, humans have not cross bred with any speicies and had viable offspring. There are rumors of "humanzee" embreos in China that were not carried to full term by their chimp mothers because they starved to death during the Cultural Revolution, but that may or may not be truth. If chimps and human haven't formed offsping yet with their close DNA stuctures, then Neaderthals were much closer than they, wouldn't you think? I assertain they were fully human, but may be a racial oddity.

    What is the genetic diversity level of say Pygmies in Africa (I know that's an old term and not used any more), to say, the Japanese? Are we 100% idential in the way they categorize DNA as "human"? I don't know the answer to that. It's an actual question if you do know. My wife and I are of different ethnic races, but we have some great looking kids, so I know we're the same speicies! ;-)

  58. go2mark

    @mJy hEeSaUrSt
    yes mark is my name but i chose this handle before i became aware. i chose it only because i thought it would be an easy email address to give out. if you have a question about evolution you better ask randy. he has a PHD. ill just sit back and watch (i promise). dont take anything too personal in here. it is mostly pointy headed douchebags just stroking themselves. as far as the flood look at what happened to Mt saint helen after only 30 years to get an idea on a smaller scale. multiply times 1000 and you get and idea of what is possible in a relatively short period of time. no question is irrelevant just sometimes our heads get in the way. sorry i posted this on the wrong tread originally

  59. mJy hEeSaUrSt

    @ Randy

    It sounds like you do not think there was mating between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals. "The gene pool is of prime importance to any species. Mating with a distinctly differnt looking animal would be anti-thetical to our species." Surely there must be some truth to all the farm boy and his sheep jokes.

    What then is your understanding of Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens sharing "genes" if not by mating?

  60. Randy

    As a test, I was taught in high-school, (in the late 60's) that humans and Neanderthal were the same species.

    It wasn't until the 90's that it was discovered that we were not. Science might make an assumption, but it is always found out.

    Testing. The Scientific Method.

    After that, the theories flew as to what caused the Neanderthals to become extinct soon after we, (Homo Sapien Sapiens), entered Europe from our migration from Africa.

    Palentologists that spent too much time with books and not enough time in the real world said we "mated" with them. Not understanding human nature.

    Paleantologists that understood human nature, (like myself), realized that we would have hunted them to extinction. Simply because it is in our biological make-up to destroy the "alien" the "ugly" the "foriegn".

    The gene pool is of prime importance to any species. Mating with a distinctly differnt looking animal would be anti-thetical to our species.

  61. Randy

    And, Neanderthals were not Homo Sapien Sapiens. They are as close to us any any chimp in Africa, as we share 99.96-8 percent of our genetic code with them.

    Chimps are as to humans, as Neanderthals are to chimps... close but no cigar.

    The scientist you mention is late to the game. As I always say, do not trust the internet... the information is only a starting point. Do your homework.

  62. Randy

    @Charles B.

    Thank Batman you are here! Debating go2mark is like debating a tiny child, or a drunk... no point!

    You have a head on your shoulders, even if it is buried deep in the crevices of jesus...

    "Marine One" if you have never heard of that, then you have been away from America too long! Marine One is the President's helicopter, just as Airforce One is the President's jet.

    Do you know what POTUS stands for? Without googling it?

  63. charles B.

    Randy: "I saw the first man on the moon, the JFK assassination, the fall of Saigon, and Nixon resigning and the long walk to Marine One…"

    What is "Marine One"? I haven't the foggiest idea what that one is.

    mJy hEeSaUrSt and Randy and Go2Mark: I goggled "Neanderthal genes found in humans" and got a whole list of articles about the "new" discovery. I'd like to know more specifically how complete the genome was they collected from the Neanderthal tooth. From what I've read it's only 60% intact. They used human and chimpanzee DNA for comparison to "match" genes, so I wish I could have been on the research team to see the process as well. What "assumptions" were made, etc? I'd also like to know how different "races" of modern man differ and to what extent. Is the "difference" of Neanderthal genes comparative or is it as far removed as say, Chimpanzees? If that were the case then most likely we'd have no Neanderthal DNA as I'm sure many a man has been giggy with a poor chimp, but as of date no certain "humanzees" can be cited definitively. An interesting topic for "LIFE" I think. Randy, if you can find the answers to some of my ponderings, then let me know. The articles are not all that specific of the process, but all are very assumptive of the "truth" of the matter and the results of us being decedent of at least some Neanderthals, provided it was indeed a Neanderthal's tooth/bones they crushed up! :-)

    My favorite quote:

    "The researchers used small amounts of bone powder from three 40,000-year-old Neanderthal individuals found in a cave in Croatia to build 60% of the genome, enough to announce that the genome is complete." Cosmo May 7, 2010. What the heck!?! Either I can't do math, or someone is really doing some scientific fudging here!

    Oh, and yes, I agree. 100% human. Here is the best and most complete article I could find on the subject and one where they make the "assumption" that they are separate spieceies without telling precisely why.

    A very telling paragraph states, however: "They are so closely related that some researchers group them and us as a single species. "I would see them as a form of humans that are bit more different than humans are today, but not much," says Svante Pääbo, a palaeogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, whose team sequenced the Neanderthal genome."


  64. go2mark

    does it really matter what i say if you cant prove it by science ?
    i was molested and he was a physics professor and he was my best friends dad.
    did i really like it ? well i will say the subsequent effects have been detrimental to my
    development but i suppose growing up in church could have been just as bad.

  65. Randy

    Yes. Obviously you were lying, I can tell by these posts. That's why I pointed it out to you...? Get it?

    You also lied about being molested... by a physics professor? You really think I believed that? You also said you didn't mind it, which I know was a lie... any victim of sexual abuse would never say that in retro-spect.

    Again, life experience, over here...

    How old are you?

  66. go2mark

    "Don't get defensive. I remember all of your posts, even the one in which you said you were a "closet evoluni..." I remember everything you have written.

    i have a good life lesson for you. " don't believe everything you read"

  67. Randy


    Don't get defensive. I remember all of your posts, even the one in which you said you were a "closet evoluni..." I remember everything you have written.

    I've been happily married for 30 years, for example. I went to law school, medical school, and... several other schools, some on scholarships, some I had to work really hard to get the money, (I come from NO money...).

    I saw the first man on the moon, the JFK assassination, the fall of Saigon, and Nixon resigning and the long walk to Marine One...

    I assume you are not as old as that, or have worked as often or participated as much as me, that's all...

    And the fins wouldn't have been a hinderance, either way, obviously. How could they have been? As we see they are not... is my point...

  68. go2mark

    "And I have life experience (much more than you, I am confident in saying...) and an education and my education never ends. " sorry i didn't know it was a competition. How did you quantify your experience to arrive at this conjecture ? assuming you have access to my life history .
    I hope you see how you rhetoric comments tend to draw away from the discussion at hand .
    My point was that the oversize pectoral fin were not optimized for flight hence being a hindrance in the interim period. of course this is all conjecture.

  69. Randy


    "ok but this does not seem logical as the longer pectoral fins would only serve as a hinderance..."

    Well, clearly, they are not a hinderance, as you saw on the documentary. They fold up real neat on the fish, you do realize?

    And as their flying became more developed, it took much less energy to achieve. It's always hard in the beginning, but gets easier... or you die.

    I am not putting you down. I certainly have met dozens of real-dumb PHD's. School doesn't make you smart, it's how you process your education that makes intelligence. How you relate to it, put it into use... etc...

    Education is just the beginning.

    And I have life experience (much more than you, I am confident in saying...) and an education and my education never ends. I am ALWAYS doing homework.

    Both are important.

  70. go2mark

    "Fish with longer pectoral fins “catch some air” (purely by accident) and go farther, therfore surviving to create offspring." ok but this does not seem logical as the longer pectoral fins would only serve as a hinderance up until they were actually able to provide lift because the forward momentum would be slowed down when breaking the surface of the water. hence those fish which stayed under the surface would have a better chance of escape. Also the act of jumping out of the water would require more energy and more oxygen which also tire them out sooner.
    Which brings us back to "Predator chases fish, (which probably begins with fairly over developed pectoral fins, but that’s not important for this to work…)" where you chose to conveniently skip over the over developed fins. now i understand this is all overly simplistic and must be extremely un-stimulating to a PHD biologist, but if we cant adequately postulate the basic logic then when are building on sand.
    You are right i did not take hs biology because i was a drunk and a druggie and had no interest in education. i was a product of my environment. this could be considered a handicap or a benefit. as i have been a naturalist all my life and now am seeking answers to real questions. so you could say i have an open mind and have not been indoctrinated from neither the church nor the classroom. I will say that i have many real life experiences to draw from which could be as valuable as any you would obtain from a university.

  71. Randy

    go2mark wrote:

    “All animals are basically “worms”. ” if this is true then i would expect to see a much more gradual distinction between body types as opposed to the vast diversity that we observe."

    My point is that it really isn't all that different or complex. If you look at it closely, it's all just worms. Ignore the extra wings, legs, colors, hair-styles... all the same body type. All of those other things are just... tools... the worms needed to thrive in a varying environment.

    And for millions upon millions of years, that's all life was on this planet, worms swimming around... that really is the best type of life in a calm... peaceful environment.

    But it never stays calm and peaceful. The Earth is always changing, upheaving, and these worms needed to adapt to survive.

    Look at all the different eco-systems on this planet, cold, hot, wet, dry, low-oxygen, high-oxygen, etc... for life to live in all of these environments, these worms would have to adapt to all of them. And they did!

  72. go2mark

    "All animals are basically “worms”. " if this is true then i would expect to see a much more gradual distinction between body types as opposed to the vast diversity that we observe.
    as Occam's razor suggests would not a simpler anthropologic metamorphosis be more likely to
    weathered the harsh environment as opposed to the very intricate and complex biology of today. i am confused by all the complex life forms where a simpler one makes more sense.

  73. Randy

    @go2mark who wrote:

    "so from what you have said can i interpret it to mean that 1 species cannot change into another
    and if not what would cause a new species to develop ? i find this to be a very complex subject..."

    It's really not the complex when you realize that there is really only one body type on this planet for animals, (obviously not plants or fungi, that is a different, and MUCH older branch),

    All animals are basically "worms". Yep. That's the basic body-type. Mouth on one end, anus on the other, long digestive tract in the middle.

    All the other "attachments" developed out of pressure from environmental/external forces.

    The environment is always harsh. It's a harsh world. Life has a way of finding a "niche" a place where it can thrive. It's no more intelligent than how water always finds the cracks in your roof.

    Enough time and enough life and the cracks, (niches), are always found.

  74. Randy

    @mJy hEeSaUrSt

    I think that may have been a little advanced for him. I was trying to bring it down a bit, as he doesn't seem to have even high-school biology down yet...

    And, I wasn't aware that they HAD actually confirmed Neanderthal genes in our own. And as far as I know, the Neanderthals were determined to not be a direct reletive of ours, but a primate cul-de-sac...


    Essentially, all animals on this planet, and even plants, come from a common ancestor. Our genetic code seems to trace back to the most rudimentary life, a sea sponge...

    From there all other forms of life evolved. We can see that in the genome. So, basically, we are all the same. Our RNA molecules can read any DNA molecule on the planet, trees, ferns, giraffes, racoons, monkeys, birds, people...

    The same chemistry, the shapes just change over the billions of years.

  75. go2mark

    @mJy hEeSaUrSt
    so from what you have said can i interpret it to mean that 1 species cannot change into another
    and if not what would cause a new species to develop ? i find this to be a very complex subject

  76. mJy hEeSaUrSt

    Mark, what separates "species" within kinds is the ability or the non ability to create viable and fertile offspring. A lion and a tiger can have a viable cub (living), but the cub is generally, as I understand it, infertile, because they are of different but similar species. Donkeys and horses make mules. Mules can not have offspring, so the line dies with the hybrid. I had a deer mount they said was a magnificent mule deer and black tail mix. It was a monster buck!

    Frogs and turtles, just for an example, cannot even have viable offspring, so they are obviously different species. If offspring are fully fertile, then the two parents are sub-species of the same species, even if mating doesn't happen often. Example: bob cats and house cats make really nice mixes with the nature of the house cat but the look of the bob cat. Dogs and wolves; foxes and coyotes. I met someone with a nice house cat bob cat mix once.

    By this definition, the recent discovery of "Neanderthal" genes in the human population is just confirmation that they were just people, and not some ape creature like so many want us to believe.

  77. go2mark

    well i guess what I was thinking is that there must be some kind of guideline by which we can determine that 1 species is definitively separated from another. It seems that to claim that 1 species has evolved into another there must be some sort of milestone that they reach whereby it can be classified as another species.

  78. Randy


    That is a big, huge question that really can take up an entire semester in Biology 101!

    There are large, complicated, but beautiful hiearchical charts that lay out the entire animal kingdom, seperating species, sub-species, family, phylum, genus, etc...

    You might could look one up on that Wikipedia all that kids are crazy about these days!

    But, you know, the 6th grade biology answers are pretty simple, you know... vertibrates from invertibrates, mammals from fish, fish from amphibians, lizards from birds... etc.

    I mean, what do you mean specifically?

  79. go2mark

    thanks randy. I figured it was something like that but was hoping it was more elaborate.
    I have 1 more question for you (actually i have many).
    Are there and if so what are the definitions which separate 1 species from another.
    thanx in advance.

  80. Randy


    Hello again. I think Operah may have alluded to this in the narration but I will try to give you a simplified account:

    Predator chases fish, (which probably begins with fairly over developed pectoral fins, but that's not important for this to work...)

    Fish jumps out of water to escape predator.

    Fish with longer pectoral fins "catch some air" (purely by accident) and go farther, therfore surviving to create offspring.

    Offspring have longer pectoral fins and catch more air, more live to escape predator... several generations later, the pectoral fins have grown to ridiculous size!

    As each creature utilizes the tools they are born with to their fullest extent, behaviors like "flapping" and "tail skimming" develop, in order to maximize the escape potential of these now enormous pectoral fins.

    A successful escape strategy has emerged, simply out of nessecity. Natural selection at work.

  81. go2mark

    truly awesome doc. love the 1080p resolution.
    would someone please share with me their take on the evolution of the flying fish and how the wings develop ?.

  82. Randy

    Magnificent! I did enjoy, "Planet Earth" better as this seemed a bit more "dumbed down", ala charlseovery's post earlier:

    "One of the greatest documentary series on nature! The only thing that sux about this documentary series is Oprahs voice narrations. Could they not pick someone better?"

    LOL, agreed! I much prefered Sigourney Weaver's narration on "Planet Earth", but still... the same people, basically, doing them both and with the same level of masterpiece quality.

    Sunning. Illuminating. And, the level of commitment by the filmmakers is almost as jawdropping as seen in any of the "behind-the-scenes" stuff they showed on the DVD boxsets.

    Thanks Vlatko!

  83. Ruth

    Hi, Vlatko, how do you get all the play lists? I find one with six parts. Is that what you mean?

    1. Vlatko

      Well @Ruth, the playlist has 51 small parts (each 10 minutes long) and all the episodes of "Life" are there in those small chunks.

  84. InedibleHulk

    Attenborough and the BBC film crew nail another one! Everything these two juggernauts come together on turns into pure gold. The lengths the crew go to are utterly insane, and greatly appreciated!

  85. Danica

    I recommend. Even if wildlife is not an interest of yours, the effects are epic. A better soundtrack than most big screen movies and astounding depictions of real time animal behaviour. This is a film that is guaranteed to evoke a true appreciation for life and its fascinating beauty.

  86. derk

    i really dislike oprahs voice here as well, it makes me think of the south park episode with the talking vagina and oprah and her super fat thighs and her super rich woman ways

  87. charlesovery

    One of the greatest documentary series on nature! The only thing that sux about this documentary series is Oprahs voice narrations. Could they not pick someone better?

  88. Ed

    Hi Vlatko. The firefox plug-in isnt availale anymore for firefox and the work around for working offline def doesnt work. After pausing the video and letting it buffer, i turned off the wlan on laptop and also set IE to work offline. notification still comes up. Same thing every time I tried even though computer has no inet connection.

    1. Vlatko

      @Ed you can always go under proxy. There are lots of sites offering that. Just hide your IP and you're good to go.

  89. Achems Razor

    Looking forward to watch this series.

  90. pipo

    Brilliant! I thought my life was hard! ;)

  91. pipo

    First! Hope its awesome!