Wildest Latin America

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History, Nature Documentary hosted by Paul McGann, published by SBS in 2013 - English narration

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Wildest Latin America Through beautiful photography and the extraordinary stories of the animals and people that live there, this series celebrates Latin America’s most iconic and dramatic locations. It’s taken millions of years for animals to adapt to places as different as the high Andes and the sweltering Amazon; the windblown Patagonian steppe and the swamps of Venezuela. The result is an incredible diversity of species – from army ants to armadillos, jaguars to giant otters. Each has developed a unique way to stay alive; yet each must fit in to a complex jigsaw of life. We reveal the extraordinary behaviors and adaptations that are key to survival and success. People have had far less time to carve out a living, yet with ingenuity and determination, they too have found ways to make the most of what the continent has to offer. Incredible lifestyles continue to this day. We follow individual hunters and fishermen as they demonstrate the skills of their people. And we unveil the strange, sometimes painful rituals that determine the identity of Latin America’s diverse people.

Each program ties together the latest revelations about life in this continent of extremes. These stories combine to give a fascinating, exciting and in-depth understanding of Latin America’s most spectacular places.

[edit] Patagonia The Ends of the Earth

Covering 800,000 square kilometres of Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is the southernmost part of South America. It’s a place of extremes – of vast ice fields and snow-capped mountains; of windswept deserts and violent oceans. Survival here means being tough enough to cope with brutal winters, and canny enough to exploit brief seasons of plenty. This episode follows a year in Patagonia and sees animals survive in unlikely places. Guanacos, relatives of the camel, sit out snow storms in the Southern Andes. Winter is long and hard and pumas and foxes must scavenge to survive. But when spring finally arrives everything in Patagonia goes into overdrive to make the most of a small window of opportunity. An amorous armadillo struggles to get through his mate’s armoured defences; penguins come ashore to reunite with partners they haven’t seen for six months; even gauchos work hard to train horses they depend on for their livelihoods.

[edit] Amazon One Forest Many Worlds

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, and the richest ecosystem on earth. Spanning nine countries it covers eight million square kilometres of South America. It’s so huge, that if it were a country it would be the seventh largest in the world. This episode uncovers what makes the Amazon such a powerhouse of evolution; how it has come to home a third of all species on the planet. The Amazon is a jigsaw of many different worlds. High in the canopy monkeys reign supreme, leaping and swinging through the treetops, ever mindful of attack from harpy eagles – the deadliest aerial predator in the jungle. Far below, on the forest floor, the unchanging environment has led to an explosion of life.
People are also part of this formidable wilderness. The modern city of Manaus thrives in the heart of a rainforest that is still home to ancient cultures and witness to terrifying initiation ceremonies.

[edit] Venezuela the Treasures of El Dorado

Venezuela is famous for its “Lost Worlds” – foreboding mountains, huge swamps, and impenetrable jungles - all seemingly cut off in space and time. Yet each is linked, by the waters of a mighty river: The Orinoco, the rumoured route to El Dorado – the legendary city of gold. Following the explorers’ journey up the Orinoco from mouth to source, we discover a delta haunted by pumas and festooned with Scarlet Ibis; a river that’s home to South America’s largest predator, the Orinoco Crocodile; Los Llanos – the swampy realm of the world’s largest rodent and its numerous predators; Mount Roraima – the spectacular flat-top mountain that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and Pixar’s movie Up; and the tropical jungle home of hallucinating shamans and tarantula-hunters.

[edit] The Pantanal Brazils Wild Heart

In the centre of South America is a vast, wild expanse - the world’s largest wetland. But this is no ordinary swamp. Every year it’s drowned by immense floods, then parched by severe drought. Yet while people struggle to cope, the Pantanal hosts some of the greatest gatherings of animals on the planet, rivalling Africa’s spectacular wildlife. As the dry season takes hold, caiman gather to breed and fish – forming the greatest concentration of reptiles on earth. Rare Giant River Otters have found refuge here and patrol the waterways in family packs. With so much food on offer, jaguars flourish - growing to be the largest in Latin America. Surviving groups of Bororo Indians join together in fishing parties, using age-old techniques to harvest the Pantanal’s riches. When the rains come the Pantanal sinks under 5m of water, and one of the world’s largest waterfalls, Foz do Iguacu, becomes a breath-taking spectacle.

[edit] Andes World in the Clouds

The longest chain of mountains in the world at 7200km, the Andes run the length of western South America and dictate the climate for the whole continent. From the northern coasts of Venezuela to the tip of Tierra del Fuego in Chile, they include some of the highest peaks outside the Himalayas. Live volcanoes punctuate the range, and form part of the Pacific Rim of Fire. This episode explores how life has managed to exist in this high altitude world of extremes. Pumas roam the mountain slopes searching for a meal. Condors glide over 5000 metres above them hoping to scavenge a free meal from their leftovers. High altitude cloud forests cling to the steep slopes and carpet a rich world of spectacled bears, colourful birds and unique plants. The jungle also cloaks the deserted mountain cities of ancient and mysterious peoples - long since reclaimed by nature. Yet people still live in the thin air and extreme exposures of the Andes. The Quechua are some of the world’s most adapted peoples. Every day is an uphill struggle

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
  • Video Bitrate: 1944 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.778 (16:9)
  • Video Resolution: 960 x 540
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps AVC 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 52mins
  • Frame rate: 25fps
  • Number of Parts: 5
  • Part Size: 723 MB
  • Container: mp4
  • Encoded by: Harry65
  • Source: DVD

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