Animals Like Us
Science & Nature
In this intriguing series, scientists and researchers study the animal kingdom to better understand the differences between humans and animals.
S01:E01 - Animal Homosexuality
According to recent scientific research, more than 450 different kinds of animals engage in homosexual activity. St Thomas Productions has taken this research, and combined it with never-before- seen film footage, to produce this compelling and groundbreaking documentary.
S01:E02 - Animal Medicine
Like us, animals are exposed to parasites, bacteria and viruses - the germs which cause disease. How do they survive these attacks? Recent research and observation have shown that animals use plant and insect substances to treat themselves - not only do they apply things to their skin, they actually treat themselves by feeding on things not normally part of their diets.
S01:E03 - Animal Language
An Indonesian legend claims that monkeys can speak but they prefer to stay quiet. Do animals have languages that we don't understand? Is it just a question of getting the right dictionary or is language the one thing that separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom?
S01:E04 - Animal Politics
Man is not the only social animal. At the beginning of 2001, Franz de Waal published his work on a group of chimpanzees in the Arnhem zoo, in the Netherlands. He showed the existence of elaborate and subtle rites which, according to him, revealed a political organization.
S01:E05 - Animal Adoption
Altruism, an act that bestows a benefit on the recipient while conferring a cost to the actor, is one of the central paradoxes of evolution. In the wild, where only the fittest survive, adopting other animals' offspring is not really in line with Darwin's theory of evolution. And yet, amongst bees, dolphins, lions and several primate species, altruism may go as far as adoption.
S01:E06 - Animal Tools
Recent discoveries have shown that hundreds of animal species use tools. New Caledonia crows, for instance, use twigs to remove insect larvae from their galleries; sea otters use flat stones to break open urchin shells or earshells; tailor ants weave leaves together with the threads secreted by the specie's larvae.
S01:E07 - Animal Business
"Give me this, I will give you that". This universal definition of trade finds an equivalent in nature in a phenomenon call «mutualism». Shaped by evolution, it describes all long or short term exchanges and cooperation between animals to survive. It turns the traditional host-parasite relationship in a beneficial alliance for both partners.
S01:E08 - Animal Play
As children we learn more about life through playing games than we do in any other way. It is the ability to play that enables us to develop into well co-ordinated, adaptable, highly social individuals. But we are not alone, animals play also. For many years this animal play was thought to be somehow 'different' to human play, but this is proving not to be the case.
S01:E09 - Animal Emotions
The study of animal behavior leaves little room for emotional-related explanations. Feelings in animals tend to be presented as functional explanations of behavior in a given situation. The notion of emotion has been completely overlooked, especially in the sixties, at the peak of animal experimentation.
S01:E10 - Animal Culture
In the 1950s, rhesus macaques living on the island of Koshima in Japan started to wash the sweet potatoes researchers gave them to eat. This observation could have remained anecdotal if the Japanese primatologists had not given this innovation the name of: "preculture".
S01:E11 - Animal Web
Insect societies have always fascinated us by the perfection of their organisation. But without their ability to secrete a substance (wax, glue, ...) insects would never have been induced to become organized. The first groupings were enabled by constructive secretions such as silk, a magical fibre that builds, unites, and speaks.
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