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Episode 10 of 10

The nature documentary examines primates, including armies of Hamadryas baboons battling on the plains of Ethiopia, and macaques in Japan lounging in thermal springs.

Primates are just like humans - intelligent, quarrelsome, family-centred.

Huge armies of Hamadryas baboons, 400 strong, battle on the plains of Ethiopia to steal females and settle old scores. Japanese macaques in Japan beat the cold by lounging in thermal springs, but only if they come from the right family. An orangutan baby fails in its struggle to make an umbrella out of leaves to keep off the rain. Young capuchins cannot quite get the hang of smashing nuts with a large rock, a technique their parents have perfected. Chimpanzees, humans' closest relatives, have created an entire tool kit to get their food.

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59 minutes

Audio described

Last on

Fri 26 Feb 2021 15:30

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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Opening Titles

    Duration: 00:23

  • Introduction to Primates

    A closer look at the traits of primates; including their intelligence and their ability to learn.

    Duration: 01:53

  • Societies

    Hamadryas baboons battle with a rival clan, settling old scores and stealing females as they fight. Also, there’s a class divide between macaque monkeys that sees some being turned out into the cold.

    Duration: 11:05

  • Family Security

    A look at a family of gorillas, including the protective father and the playful offspring. Also, a group of tarsiers, the only carnivorous primate, split up to hunt.

    Duration: 07:04

  • Communication

    Lar gibbons use their musical voice, newborn Phayre’s leaf monkeys use their colour and male lemurs use their pungent smell in order to communicate with their respective species.

    Duration: 06:18

  • Learning Curves

    An orang-utan mother will spend up to nine years teaching her daughter the ways of the forest.

    Duration: 04:30

  • Food Gathering

    The Chacma baboons must time the tide right in order to gather nutrients while the white-faced capuchins, and their Brazilian cousins, both crack a food related problem.

    Duration: 08:27

  • Tools

    A small community of chimpanzees use tools in a variety of ways; including using a palm tree leaf as a pestle and a rock as a hammer.

    Duration: 07:35

  • Life on Location – Ninety Nine Percent

    The crew found they shared a great affinity with chimpanzees when they filmed them in their natural habitat.

    Duration: 10:46


Role Contributor
Narrator David Attenborough
Producer Patrick Morris
Producer Martha Holmes
Executive Producer Michael Gunton
Writer Paul Spillenger


  • Mon 14 Dec 2009 21:00
  • Mon 14 Dec 2009 22:35
  • Tue 15 Dec 2009 20:00
  • Sun 20 Dec 2009 17:40
  • Tue 22 Dec 2009 02:10
  • Sat 2 Jan 2010 18:15
  • Sun 4 Apr 2010 16:20
  • Sat 17 Apr 2010 19:00
  • Wed 16 Jun 2010 23:30
  • Sat 18 Dec 2010 19:00
  • Sat 5 Nov 2011 19:00
  • Sun 6 Nov 2011 02:50
  • Mon 7 Nov 2011 00:00
  • Mon 26 Aug 2019 22:30
  • Fri 26 Feb 2021 15:30