Jimmy Doherty embarks on a quest to reveal the hidden lives of farmyard animals.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Private Life of... - The Private Life of Plants - Netflix
The Private Life of Plants is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first shown in the United Kingdom from 11 January 1995. A study of the growth, movement, reproduction and survival of plants, it was the second of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth. Each of the six 50-minute episodes discusses aspects of a plant's life-cycle, using examples from around the world. The series was produced in conjunction with Turner Broadcasting. The executive producer was Mike Salisbury and the music was composed by Richard Grassby-Lewis. In 1995, it won a George Foster Peabody Award in the category “Television”. Part of David Attenborough's 'Life' series of programmes, it was preceded by Life in the Freezer (1993), and followed by The Life of Birds (1998).
The Private Life of... - "Growing" - Netflix
Broadcast 18 January 1995, this programme is about how plants gain their sustenance. Sunlight is one of the essential requirements if a seed is to germinate, and Attenborough highlights the cheese plant as an example whose young shoots head for the nearest tree trunk and then climb to the top of the forest canopy, developing its leaves en route. Using sunshine, air, water and a few minerals, the leaves are, in effect, the “factories” that produce food. However, some, such as the begonia, can thrive without much light. To gain moisture, plants typically use their roots to probe underground. Trees pump water up pipes that run inside their trunks, and Attenborough observes that a sycamore can do this at the rate of 450 litres an hour — in total silence. Too much rainfall can clog up a leaf's pores, and many have specially designed 'gutters' to cope with it. However, their biggest threat is from animals, and some require extreme methods of defence, such as spines, camouflage, or poison. Some can move quickly to deter predators: the mimosa can fold its leaves instantly when touched, and the Venus flytrap eats insects by closing its leaves around its prey when triggered. Another carnivorous plant is the trumpet pitcher that snares insects when they fall into its tubular leaves. Attenborough visits Borneo to see the largest pitcher of them all, Nepenthes rajah, whose traps contain up to two litres of water and have been known to kill small rodents.