Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Food for Thought

Episode 10 of 10

David Attenborough concludes his documentary series with a programme about the similarities and differences between humans and other mammals.

David Attenborough concludes his documentary series with a programme about our closest animal relatives, the intelligent great apes, and finds out how their large brains enabled one of their kind, an upright ape, to go on to dominate the planet. David travels to the forests of Borneo to meet a remarkable orangutan with a passion for DIY and a talent for rowing boats. He shifts continent to Africa and takes part in a special nut-cracking lesson with a group of chimps learning survival skills. He discovers how food - and the ways apes find it - has been key to the evolution of our large brains.

Filmed for the first time, the chimps of Ngogo hunt down monkeys to supplement their vegetarian diet with meat. Our ancestors must have also hunted for meat, but with one crucial difference - they did so on two feet. David meets an extraordinary group of wading chimps that give us a unique window into our past, the moment when we took a step away from being apes and a step towards humanity. As soon as they stood upright, humans began to manipulate their environment, transforming the very surface of the planet by domesticating plants and animals. This most successful of all mammals has been able to increase the supply of food beyond that which occurred naturally. As a result the number of human beings could increase. David travels to the ruins of the capital of the Maya people to trace the rise and fall of an entire human civilisation. The temples of Tikal used to be the highest buildings in the Americas until the skyscrapers of New York were built. So why did the Maya civilisation collapse? Will modern city-dwellers suffer a similar fate?

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 11 Aug 2017 16:15

More episodes

Previous

Next

You are at the last episode

See all episodes from The Life of Mammals

Clips

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter David Attenborough
Writer David Attenborough
Producer Vanessa Berlowitz
Series Producer Mike Salisbury

Broadcasts

  • Mon 14 Jul 2008 20:00
  • Fri 2 Jan 2009 08:30
  • Thu 18 Apr 2013 16:10
  • Tue 7 Oct 2014 14:00
  • Thu 9 Oct 2014 14:00
  • Fri 11 Aug 2017 16:15

Visit BBC Earth, the home of wildlife on the BBC

Visit BBC Earth, the home of wildlife on the BBC

Discover amazing animal facts, photos and news, and watch exclusive wildlife videos.