Africa's Trees of Life

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Nature Documentary hosted by Brian Deacon, published by Discovery Channel in 2016 - English narration

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Image: Africas-Trees-of-Life-Cover.jpg

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Africa’s Trees of Life Surviving in Africa is not easy. A demanding human population increases the pressure on wilderness areas and persecutes the animals that threaten crops and livestock. But there are some protected areas in southern Africa where leopards, elephants and hyenas live a sheltered existence. Trees Of Life tells three stories of the endurance and survival of Africa’s most iconic natural history symbols – from predators to prey, extreme environments and legendary trees. A pride of lions, a territorial leopard and a cheetah mother play out their lives in the shadows of three impressive trees – the Sausage tree in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia, the Acacia Camel Thorn, in the Kalahri in South Africa and the Marula Tree in the Manyaleti near the Kruger National Park. This is the incredible story of the hunters and the prey that depend on these remarkable trees – the trees of life.

[edit] Sausage Tree

The anchor of the film is an iconic tree – the Sausage Tree. Large fruits and crimson flowers keep the herbivores well fed when all around the vegetation is withered and dry. Bees collect pollen and nectar and, at the same time, fertilize the flowers. Placed on the branches, we see birds, baboons, vervet monkeys and squirrels drinking the abundant nectar. Below them, puku, impalas and bushbuck eat the fallen flowers.

[edit] Acacia Camel Thorn

The slow-growing Camel Thorn Acacia, one of southern Africa’s most common trees, has drooping, often contorted, branches and a rounded or umbrella-shaped crown. Its common name refers not to a true camel, but instead to the Afrikaans’ name for the giraffe, “camel-horse.” The tree is identifiable by the sweet-scented, bright yellow, ball-like flowers that are found on many acacias. The Camel Thorn, like most acacias, has bipinnately compound leaves, but it is easily discerned from its cousins by its larger leaves and large, light-gray, velvety seedpods shaped like crescent moons. The pods are highly nutritious and are eaten during the dry season by livestock and large native herbivores such as the elephant, black rhino, gemsbok, eland, greater kudu, and of course, giraffe.

[edit] Marula Tree

The history of the marula tree goes back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows the marula tree was a source of nutrition as long as ago as 10,000 years B.C. Marula, Scelerocarya birrea, subspecies caffera, is one of Africa' botanical treasures. In the Pomongwe Cave in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 24 million marula fruits were eaten. Not only the fruit, but also the nut, are rich in minerals and vitamins. Legends abound on the multiple uses of the tree, the bark, the leaves, fruit, nut and kernels. Most well known as the fruit that 'drives elephants mad' when dropped to the ground and lightly fermented, marula is a much-loved tree in the veld in Africa. It was a dietary mainstay in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia throughout ancient times.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
  • Video Bitrate: 3191 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1280 x 720
  • Video Resolution: 1.778 (16:9)
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC
  • Audio: English
  • Audio Bitrate: 160 kb/s VBR 48 KHz
  • Audio Channels: Stereo 2
  • Run-Time: 45mins
  • Framerate: 25 fps
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Container Mp4
  • Part Size: 1,008 MB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: Harry65

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