Evolve: The Ultimate Story of Survival

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Nature Documentary hosted by Gareth Armstrong, published by History Channel in 2008 - English narration

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Image: Evolve-The-Ultimate-Story-of-Survival-Cover.jpg

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Innovate or die. Evolve or face extinction. It's a tough, violent, and lethal world out there, and it's been that way since the dawn of time. Roughly 99 percent of all species have become extinct. What enabled that other one percent to survive the cutthroat competition? Their ability to.... EVOLVE. For man, beast and nature, it's been a constant battlefield. This fascinating series blends spectacular live-action natural history sequences, lifelike computer graphics, epic docudrama and experimental science to illustrate the never-ending struggle to prevail. Examine every facet of a single trait, from origin to modern incarnation, through a stunning combination of dramatizations, computer animations, live action nature footage and lab work, discover the biological and behavioral innovations that have kept us all on this Earth! We see how some strategic advantages were anatomical in nature (eyes, jaws, body armor), while others were related to behavior (movement, communication, sex). Each episode attempts to explain the evolutionary origins of a particular trait of living creatures: for example, Tyrannosaurus rex's 13-inch teeth, the gecko's "Velcro-like" toe pads, the bald eagle's "telescopic" vision capable of spotting a hare a mile away, and how the shark evolved its mode of reproduction, which eventually came to resemble that of humans. From dinosaurs to jellyfish, these are only a few of the creatures and many more that HISTORY analyzes to give a complete qualitative dissection of their evolution. Discover what has propelled creatures large and small to survive. Trace the history and importance of these adaptations from their earliest beginnings to today. It's nature's longest lasting battle and every creature on Earth is part of it. The EVOLVE series follows the historical trail of these adaptations from their origins to the present. It is the battle that nature has waged for centuries and in which every being on earth is and remains involved. The series premiere, "Eyes", was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming. Produced by Optomen Productions, Inc. for History

[edit] Eyes

Seeing is believing, not to mention evading, eating and surviving! Eyes are one of evolution's most useful and prevalent inventions. Ninety five percent of living species are equipped with eyes and they exist in many different forms.
Learn how the eyeball evolved from ancestors of jellyfish who developed light-sensitive cells to the unique adaptations that allowed primates to better exploit their new habitat, while the ability to see colors helped them find food.

[edit] Guts

It doesn't just take willpower to survive. It takes guts. This episode looks at the role guts have played in shaping some of Earth's most successful animals.
Life needs energy to exist and almost all animals get their energy in the same way -- with a built-in power plant, a digestive system that turns food into fuel. But how does it work? How did animals evolve fantastic digestive systems? Take a close look at the role of guts have played in shaping some of Earth's most successful animals: dinosaurs, snakes, cows, and us.

[edit] Jaws

There is perhaps no instrument more important to survival than a strong set of jaws, which let animals kill, butcher, and devour. Get ready to pry open some of the deadliest jaws on the planet as we expose this fierce and ferocious anatomical weapon. Sharp, menacing, and more than an eating apparatus, the jaws of many animals are key to their survival. Go back along the evolutionary line to discover how various jaws developed in the first place.
Jaw is a huge advantage in the struggle for survival. In the history of vertebrates nothing is important as jaws. But the main question is when did that first bite happen?

[edit] Sex

In the history of life on earth, sex may be the ultimate survival skill, because the bottom line is: reproduce or die.
Sex is a necessity for most species to survive. As evolution continues, are we approaching a time when sex will no longer be a necessity? How is this possible? EVOLVE looks at the history of sex for numerous species. Fish, insects, mammals, amphibians, and everything in between are examined.

[edit] Skin

This episode looks at how skin has changed and adapted to virtually any challenge it has faced throughout history. Skin is absolutely amazing, far more complex and versatile than we ever give it credit for. It makes up 16 percent of your body weight, is the largest organ in the human body, allows birds to fly and mammals to nurse their young, an provides a lifelong defense against predators and parasites alike.
From the delicate membranes that encased the earliest animals to the leathery hides that protected the dinosaurs, discover skin in all its forms in this fascinating episode.

[edit] Flight

Scientists examine the fossil record and living birds to try and unlock how some species evolved to have the remarkable trait of flight.
In this high-flying episode, EVOLVE reveals the secrets, and the continuing mysteries, of the very first vertebrate flyer, the pterosaur, which escaped its earthly bounds 220 million years ago. This creature eventually evolved into flying goliaths the size of small planes!

[edit] Communication

The ability to interact stretches back billions of years and has often been one of the primary factors in a species ability to evolve and survive.
Communication isn't just the key to a good relationship: it also goes a long way toward ensuring the success of a species. While humans, comfortable at the top of the food chain, have made the most out of this particular evolutionary achievement, organisms everywhere -- from dolphins to amoebae -- can be found speaking to one another.

[edit] Size

Whether dictated by the need for speed, population density, or a host of other factors, the biological world revolves and evolves around size. Life has evolved into a multitude of sizes. Over the course of three billion years, life has taken on many forms, from an .02-micrometer-long bacteria to the 110-foot-long blue whale.
How to we measure up? Understanding the amazing processes that gave us vertebrates small than a thumbnail (a Cuban frog) and longer than a diesel locomotive (a blue whale). But what are the mechanisms of these adaptations, the evolutionary pressures that affect size, and the physical limits life can attain?

[edit] Venom

For hundreds of millions of years world's top predators have relied on speed or their size and sheer strength to over power the victims. But venom shifts the balance of power.
The deadliest natural weapon employed in the animal kingdom, venom has independently evolved in creatures as jellyfish, insects, snakes, and even mammals. So how did such a vicious weapon evolve? Scientists from around the globe show how evolution adapted venom to fit the needs of the animals who wield it.

[edit] Shape

Every shape in nature, no matter how bizarre it may appear, evolved as a result of the struggle for survival. Today, animals are shaped in so many different ways and most of them have strange bodies, weird looking. But shape is still vital.
Over millions of years, pessures to gain even the slightest edge have resulted in nearly infinite variations on the basic animal shape. Explore the evolution of animal shape and how the slightest alteration of a leg or a head can mean the difference between life and extinction.

[edit] Speed

Evolution is a race between predator and prey. Speed, the ability to react and move, can often mean the difference between life and death in the animal kingdom.
Some animals have evolved into championship fliers, swimmers, and runners. How could fish fly from the water nearly seventy miles in hour? How could T-Rex evolved to outpace the fastest human? And what happens when humans push the nature beyond natural limits? What are the forces that create this need for speed, and how do animals bodies adapt to go into overdrive?

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
Video Bitrate: 3 269 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1280x720
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 256 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 44 min
Number Of Parts: 11
Part Size: 1.09 GB
Source: HDTV
Encoded by: NANO & ViLD

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