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Deserts

Episode 5 of 11

A look at deserts around the world, from Namibia to Atakama to Arizona, unravelling the secrets behind desert survival and revealing their ephemeral nature.

Documentary series which celebrates our planet in all its glory, both its spectacular scenery and its captivating natural history.

This edition looks at deserts, which cover a third of the earth's land surface. From space they appear lifeless but a closer look reveals a different picture.

Deserts are in fact surprisingly varied; from Mongolia's Gobi desert, where wild Bactrian camels have to eat snow in lieu of water, to the Atacama in Chile where guanacos survive by licking the dew off cactus spines. Changes are rare in deserts but they play a crucial part in their story; from Saharan sandstorms nearly a mile high to desert rivers that run for a single day; from the brief blooming of Death Valley in the USA, to a plague of desert locusts 40 miles wide and 100 miles long - two events that might occur once in 30 years.

This episode includes a unique aerial voyage over the dunes and rocky escarpments of a Namibian desert. From this lofty viewpoint, the camera follows elephants on a desperate trek for food and desert lions searching the wilderness for wandering bands of oryx.

This programme unravels the secrets behind desert survival and reveals the ephemeral nature of this stunning environment.

10 months left to watch

58 minutes

Last on

Fri 16 Mar 2018 15:15

Clips

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter David Attenborough
Producer Huw Cordey
Series Producer Alastair Fothergill

Broadcasts

  • Tue 30 May 2006 01:40
  • Wed 7 Feb 2007 19:00
  • Fri 15 Aug 2008 18:00
  • Sat 28 Mar 2009 18:30
  • Sat 2 May 2009 17:30
  • Sun 10 May 2009 18:05
  • Sun 17 May 2009 18:00
  • Sat 2 Oct 2010 19:05
  • Fri 12 Nov 2010 19:00
  • Mon 20 May 2013 16:15
  • Thu 10 Apr 2014 15:15
  • Fri 25 Aug 2017 16:15
  • Fri 16 Mar 2018 15:15

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