Friday, February 10, 2012

Inside Nature's Giants : The Fin Whale

The team dissect a 65 foot, 60 ton fin whale, second only in size to its 'cousin' the blue whale. The whale died after being stranded off the coast of Ireland. It's a race against time as whale anatomist Joy Reidenberg flies in from New York before the animal's decomposition causes it to explode on the beach. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans helps investigate why the animal died and explores its extraordinary anatomy. Using whale size machinery, Joy and the team set to work amidst gale force winds, driving rain, blood and freezing conditions. Advancing tides threaten to engulf the whale as the team struggles to complete the dissection .

Beneath the blubber, the whale's unique anatomy holds vital clues to its evolution. Using a combination of dissection and computer graphics, the programme discovers an animal whose closest living relative is the hippo. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explains why the whale's ancestors may have taken to the water and the evolutionary problems that had to be overcome to transform a land based mammal into an animal that is found in all the world's major oceans, and in waters ranging from the polar to the tropical.

The award winning series that gets under the skin of the largest animals on the planet. Inside Nature's Giants dissects these animals to uncover their evolutionary secrets. Most wildlife documentaries tell you how an animal behaves, but by dissecting an animal and studying its anatomy we can see how animals really work. Experts in comparative anatomy, evolution and behaviour will put some of the most popular and enigmatic large animals under the knife. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans will interpret their findings, biologist Simon Watts tests the animals physiology and Richard Dawkins traces back the animals place on the tree of life.


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