Inside Nature's Giants Series 1

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 4 - The Giraffe

Veterinary scientist Mark Evans acts as guide as a team of experts investigate the inner workings of the giraffe.

Creationists question how this extraordinary creature could have evolved such a long neck, but for Professor Richard Dawkins the anatomy of the world's tallest animal provides some of the best arguments in favour of Darwinian natural selection.

For example, one nerve takes a huge detour up and down the long neck, from the voice box to the brain, via the chest - hardly the work of an `Intelligent Designer'. And, despite its length, the neck still only has seven vertebrae - the same number as almost all mammals, from mice to humans and whales.

It’s huge heart must pump blood at high pressure around a towering body, and it has evolved thick skin that acts as a natural 'G-suit' coupled with a complex circulation system to avoid passing out when raising and lowering its head.

And as the dissection team piece together the remarkable evolutionary story of the giraffe, biologist Simon Watt observes them in the field as they eat, forage and fight.



Episode 1 - The Elephant How did evolution overcome the challenges of being as big as an elephant? And how did the elephant get the most versatile limb on the planet - the trunk?

Episode 2 - The Whale Experts dissect a 20 metre, 50 tonne fin whale that has died after being stranded off the coast of Ireland. It's a race against time as whale anatomist Joy Reidenberg flies in from New York before the animal's decomposition causes it to explode on the beach.

Episode 3 - The Crocodile Veterinary scientist Mark Evans joins experts in anatomy, evolution and behaviour in a bid to get under the skin of the crocodile, as biologist Simon Watt travels to Florida to test the huge strength of the massive reptile's bite: the most powerful in the animal kingdom.

Episode 4 - The Giraffe Creationists question how this extraordinary creature could have evolved such a long neck, but for Professor Richard Dawkins the anatomy of the world's tallest animal provides some of the best arguments in favour of Darwinian natural selection.

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Editor
for Channel 4, NGCI, NGC-US
Distributed by ITV Global Entertainment Ltd.