Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Lost Worlds

Episode 2 of 3

Series exploring Madagascar and its unique wildlife. David Attenborough looks at the island's eastern coast, home to cyanide-eating lemurs and leaf-tailed geckos.

David Attenborough tells the story of one of the most intriguing wild places on earth: Madagascar, the huge island of dramatic landscapes, where the wildlife is strange and unique, some of it having been filmed for the very first time.

In this episode, we travel deep into Madagascar's most luxuriant landscape: the rainforests that cloak the island's eastern mountains. Remote and mysterious, this little-known region of towering peaks and precipitous escarpments is home to over half of all Madagascar's unique species.

Narrated by David Attenborough, this second episode showcases an amazing collection of wildlife, many of which have never been filmed before. Cyanide-eating lemurs, cannibalistic frogs, meat-eating plants, cryptic leaf-tailed geckos, tadpole-eating wasps, tunnel-digging chameleons and house-proud flycatchers are just some of the weird and wonderful wildlife featured.

Along this coast, every cliff and valley is like a lost world where nature has run riot. Amongst the boulders of the Andringitra Highlands, a few hardy troops of ringtailed lemurs make their home. To fight the sub-zero cold, they have developed thick coats and can only survive the freezing nights by huddling together in rocky crevices. In this high 'desert', they must eat cacti for moisture.

Descend just a few hundred metres and it's a very different world, where dense forests are permanently shrouded in clouds. The Marojejy Massif is the last sanctuary of one of Madagascar's rarest lemurs, the elusive, ghostly white silky sifaka. There are thought to be only two hundred of these playful and endearing creatures left on earth.

Lower again are the lush rainforests of Ranomafana, where thickets of bamboo hide one of Madagascar's most remarkable animals, the golden bamboo lemur, only discovered recently. It's incredibly specialised, eating just one species of bamboo, a plant loaded with highly toxic cyanide. No one knows how they can survive consuming lethal doses of this poison.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 28 Jul 2020 16:15


Music Played

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

  • Sarah Class

    Specially composed music

    Specially composed music for the series recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

  • Bessie Smith

    Backwater Blues

  • Will Gregory & Alison Goldfrapp

    Caravan girl

  • Elbow


  • Barthélémy ATTISSO/ Nbjanga DIENG/ Rudolph GOMIS

    Pape Ndiaye

  • Elbow

    Weather to Fly

  • 00:49




Role Contributor
Narrator David Attenborough
Executive Producer Mike Gunton
Series Producer Mary Summerill
Producer Ian Gray
Producer Adrian Gray


  • Wed 16 Feb 2011 20:00
  • Thu 17 Feb 2011 00:20
  • Sun 20 Feb 2011 18:00
  • Wed 23 Mar 2011 19:00
  • Sat 26 Mar 2011 18:00
  • Wed 4 May 2011 01:45
  • Fri 29 Jul 2011 19:00
  • Sun 31 Jul 2011 12:00
  • Wed 28 Dec 2011 10:25
  • Thu 29 Dec 2011 21:00
  • Mon 31 Dec 2012 16:00
  • Tue 17 Dec 2013 14:45
  • Fri 21 Aug 2015 15:45
  • Tue 7 Mar 2017 16:15
  • Tue 24 Jul 2018 16:15
  • Thu 20 Jun 2019 02:35
  • Thu 27 Jun 2019 22:00
  • Tue 28 Jul 2020 16:15