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[01/26/10 - 12:03 PM]
BBC America Celebrates the Start of Spring with BBC Earth
"BBC Earth Sunday" premieres Sunday, March 21 starting at 4:00/3:00c.

[via press release from BBC America]

BBC AMERICA CELEBRATES THE START OF SPRING WITH BBC EARTH

- Three fascinating documentaries presented by Sir David Attenborough -

This March, BBC AMERICA showcases the beauty of nature in a programming block that features three captivating documentaries presented by multi-award winning and world renowned natural history expert, Sir David Attenborough. The Life of Mammals series introduces viewers to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on earth and tells their epic tale of survival.

The BBC is the largest producer of natural history programming in the world, including the hugely successful Planet Earth. BBC Earth is the global brand highlighting this incredible content across all platforms including channels, iTunes, DVD and licensing. BBC Earth Sunday premieres Sunday, March 21, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

THE LIFE OF MAMMALS: INSECT HUNTERS � BBC AMERICA PREMIERE

When mammals first appeared, insects were abundant on earth, and mammals made meals of them. Crucially, they were the first creatures able to make and regulate their own body heat, so they could hunt insects in the cool of night, when most of the predatory dinosaurs were asleep. But when the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared, the mammals were free to conquer new territories.

As it's hard to sustain a large body by catching insects, about 50 million years ago, some mammals broadened their diet - hedgehogs and armadillos mixed their insects with fruit and birds eggs. And when insects built huge nests, protected with walls of baked mud, the mammals rose to the challenge with pangolins and giant anteaters using their long tongues and huge claws. Featured insect hunters in this BBC AMERICA premiere are musk shrews that dive under water, moles that swim in sand, pangolins and giant anteaters that survive entirely on a diet of social ants and termites and insect eating bats that take to the air for the insects that fly.

The Life of Mammals: Insect Hunters premieres Sunday, March 21, 4:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. PT

THE LIFE OF MAMMALS: OPPORTUNISTS � BBC AMERICA PREMIERE

When it comes to food most mammals are specialist � some eat nothing but termites, some just seeds or flesh while others rely on plants like bamboo in the giant panda's case. However, instead of being a specialist, mammals also become a generalist known as the omnivore, which eat a variety of food in whatever seems to be around at the time. Among these opportunists are the raccoon that search on land and sea, the babirusa pig that detect the scent of ripe fruit through dense tropical vegetation, skunks in Texas who feast on baby bats only a few weeks out of the year and the most adaptable and successful mammal � humans.

The Life of Mammals: Opportunists premieres Sunday, March 21, 6:00 p.m. ET/ 3:00 p.m PT

THE LIFE OF MAMMALS: LIFE IN THE TREES � BBC AMERICA PREMIERE

The tropical forest provides shelter and food for mammals that have made the three dimensional world of the forest their home. Trees provide food, security from ground living predators and refuge from the elements.

And to reap the benefits of this world, special adaptations are needed. The Rock Hyrax, similar looking to guinea pigs, are accomplished climbers and walk around the low branches of the acacia trees when they feed. Sloths and lorises have the talent of gripping � claws on one hand and fingers and thumbs on the other - to grip with all four limbs. The tamandua has a prehensile tail which grips to allow for termite eating as it hangs and the squirrel, whose agility is legendary to their light body, balancing tail and sharp claws, allows them to move around tree tops at astonishing speeds.

The Life of Mammals: Life in the Trees premieres Sunday, March 21, 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT

SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

Sir David Attenborough is one of the world's best-known natural history presenters. His distinguished career spans more than 50 years, during which time he has done more than anyone else to popularize natural history programming and has become one of the world's most respected authorities on wildlife. His combination of charm and enthusiasm, together with concern for conservation and the environment, has been profoundly influential on several generations of viewers.

Born in London in 1926, Attenborough studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge. He served in the Royal Navy and joined the BBC in 1952 as a trainee producer of documentary programs. In 1954, he became a presenter and launched his famous series, Zoo Quest, which took him to the wilder parts of the world. In 1965, he took one of the top jobs in the BBC, Controller of BBC2, and was responsible for the introduction of color television into Britain. He went on to run both BBC television networks and in 1973, returned to program-making.

In 1979, he wrote and presented Life on Earth, at the time the most ambitious series ever produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit - an estimated 500 million people worldwide watched it. In 1984, came its sequel, The Living Planet, and in 1990, The Trials of Life, the final part of the epic trilogy spanning all life on Earth. This was followed by Life in the Freezer (1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Life In The Undergrowth (2005) and Life In Cold Blood (2007), all of which received huge acclaim and many awards including the accompanying books and DVDs which topped bestseller lists.

In 2002, Attenborough celebrated 50 years with the BBC with Life On Air, a television biography and bestselling book and on his 80th birthday, in 2006, was on the Galapagos Islands filming giant tortoises for Life In Cold Blood. Other recent projects include The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. Over the years Attenborough has received countless prestigious awards and honorary degrees and in 2005, he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen which recognizes exceptional distinction in the arts, sciences and other areas.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 66 million homes.

BBC Earth is the global brand for all the BBC's natural history content spanning the last 50 years. The BBC is the largest producer of natural history programming in the world and the brand highlights the vast scale of incredible content which is produced in this genre. Visible across all platforms - TV, digital and merchandising as well as expanding across TV stings, DVDs and digital products, BBC Earth encourages engagement with current as well as classic programs such as Planet Earth and The Blue Planet in addition to future commissions. BBC Earth branding is only visible outside the UK and is from BBC Worldwide the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).





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