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The BBC may not be able to top Planet Earth, the landmark 2006 production that is arguably the finest nature documentary ever made, but they have once again come close with Madagascar. This spectacular three-part series, coproduced with Animal Planet and featuring the familiar voice-over of David Attenborough, reveals the many wonders of the world's biggest island, a place of startling variety in terms of both geography and wildlife. That's due to an event that occurred 60 million years ago, when Africa and India separated, creating the thousand-mile-long island a few hundred miles off the African coast, a place so isolated that more than 80 percent of its animal species can be found there and nowhere else. Left to their own devices, these creatures evolved and diversified to an extraordinary degree, each adapting to its own environment, whether it be the barren mountains that divide Madagascar in half, the hot, arid western side, or the lush rain forest on the eastern side. There are, for instance, some 80 different types of lemur, the dog-faced primate that is the island's most recognizable inhabitant. These include the tiny mouse lemur (weighing in at about two ounces); the child-sized indri; a lemur whose diet consists of bamboo loaded with lethal doses of cyanide; the ghostly white silky sifaka, of which only about 200 remain; and many more. But that's not all. We also see a chameleon about the size of an ant; tenrecs, small, hedgehog-like creatures capable of giving birth to 32 babies in one litter; white, eyeless, cave-dwelling fish that swim upside down; the fossa, a giant mongoose that's the island's biggest predator; and a plethora of other insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, and flora. As usual, all of this is breathtakingly photographed, with a clarity and vividness that are only enhanced in the Blu-ray version (each chapter includes about 10 minutes detailing the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to capture their footage, much of it depicting animals and behaviors never photographed before). Of course, as human civilization encroaches inexorably, many of these animals face extinction--all the more reason that this superb documentary belongs in any serious nature lover's collection. --Sam Graham --This text refers to the DVD edition.
This is an amazingly photographed and presented rendition of what types of creatures live on the Island and how they survive.Published 2 months ago by Dia
What can you say? BBC Nature with Sir David Attenborough... Amazing quality programming!Published 8 months ago by Dave
The scenery and cinematography are excellent.
We should be very thankful that we can experience
nature without leaving our living room.
Absolutely fascinating. Lemurs are so beautiful and adaptable, in fact it was fascinating to see how all plant-life and animals alike survived in the most stark and in hospitable... Read morePublished on April 6 2013 by Erika Schroedersecker