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Nature Documentary hosted by David Attenborough, published by BBC in 2011 - English narration

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Image: Madagascar-Cover.jpg

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Madagascar Sir David Attenborough narrates this fascinating nature documentary series which profiles the variety of different species that live on the island of Madagascar. Lying just off the coast of Africa, Madagascar is a land of misty mountains, tropical rainforests and spiny desert scrub – and home to strange wildlife, most of which is found nowhere else on earth. Using the latest in filming technology, the BBC's Natural History Unit captures the diverse and rare wildlife that inhabits this incredible land, some filmed for the first time, and features surprising stories of the favourite and enduring symbol of the island, lemurs, as well as less familiar creatures. There are frogs that turn from brown to bright yellow; wasps that pluck tadpoles from tree-nests; fish that swim upside down and the romantic life of the world's tiniest chameleon.

[edit] Island of Marvels

In this episode, we reveal the island's most bizarre and dramatic places, and the unique wildlife that has made its home in each, thanks to the geology and isolation of this Alice-in-Wonderland world. The stars are the lemurs, Madagascar's own primates. A family of indris leaps like gymnasts among rainforest trees; and crowned lemurs scamper around Madagascar's weirdest landscape, the razor-sharp limestone tsingy, which looks like something from another planet. And sifakas, ghostly white lemurs, move like ballerinas across the forest floor. Madagascar's wildlife is famously strange. Bright red giraffe-necked weevils use their necks to build leaf nests with the complexity of origami. Chameleons stalk the forests, none more intriguing than the pygmy chameleon, the world's smallest reptile, delicately courting a female in its giant world. The fearsome fossa, Madagascar's only big mammal predator, looks for a mate - 15 metres up a tree. And in the southern 'spiny desert', a spider hauls an empty snail shell, 30 times its own weight, up into a bush as a shelter; something never before filmed, and possibly never observed in the wild before. At the end of the episode, we go 'behind the camera', to reveal the challenges of capturing the behaviour of the little-known wildlife of this island. How do you go about filming a rare, secretive lemur that lives in the middle of Madagascar's biggest lake?

[edit] Lost Worlds

This second episode of the natural history series about one of the most intriguing wild places on Earth, A few troops of ringtailed lemurs have made their home at the top of the coldest mountain on the island, in the Andringitra Highlands. To fight the sub-zero temperatures they have developed thick coats, but can only survive the freezing nights by huddling together in rocky crevices. Just a few hundred metres lower, the forests are permanently shrouded in clouds. This is the last sanctuary of the elusive, ghostly white silky sifaka. There are thought to be only 200 of these playful and endearing creatures left. Lower again into the lush rainforests, thickets of 30-metre-high bamboo hide one of Madagascar's most remarkable animals – the golden bamboo lemur, only discovered a few years ago. It's extraordinarily specialised, eating just one species of bamboo: a plant loaded with highly toxic cyanide. Every day they consume 12 times the lethal dose of this poison with no ill effects – no one knows how they can do this. In just a few remote places, luxuriant rainforests reach right down to the Indian Ocean. Big and noisy, strikingly colourful red-ruffed lemurs boss their way around these rich forests, defending fruiting trees from troops of raiding white-faced brown lemurs. Their massive consumption of fruit is vital to the health of these eastern forests, as they are the only way seeds are spread throughout the forest.

[edit] Land of Heat and Dust

This episode focuses on the desert-like west and south of Madagascar. It might not rain there for nine months of the year and some years not at all. To live here, you have to be a specialist. The Verreaux's sifakas lives in the strange "spiny forest" – many of the trees here have savage spikes and some drip toxic chemicals. But this species of lemur is totally at home here – they get all the moisture they need from the plants' hard leaves. Slow-motion filming shows their incredible knack of moving among the dagger-like spines without harming themselves. Among the iconic baobab trees live huge-eyed mouse lemurs – the world's smallest primates – emerging at night to feed on the droppings of fluffy bugs. This is a land where opportunists survive the lean times – the female vasa parrot gets males to feed her by singing loudly to them. Gangs of ring-tailed lemurs bring up their babies through the toughest time of year. But these canny lemurs catch giant flying insects, plucking them from the air. When at last the rains come for a few fleeting weeks, everything changes. Labord's chameleon is the shortest-lived land vertebrate in the world. This striking animal lives just 12 weeks from hatching to adulthood. It spent nine months in an egg and has only three months to pack in the rest of its life – growing to adulthood, fighting off rivals, mating and dying soon afterwards. The challenge for Madagascar's wildlife is not just with the passing seasons. Much of it is under threat from hunting and loss of habitat. David sums up: "We are still unravelling the mysteries of Madagascar's wildlife. How tragic it would be if we lost it before we've even understood it."

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[edit] Technical Specs

[edit] SD Version

  • Video Codec: Xvid
  • Video Bitrate: 1632 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 720 x 416
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.731 (16:9)
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Streams: 2ch
  • RunTime per Part 59.mins
  • Number Of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 746 MB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: Harry65

[edit] HD Version

  • Technical Spec for HD
  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@4.1
  • Video Bitrate: 4000 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 Kbps CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 59mins
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 1.72 GB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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