Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SteveReviews: Mammals

It is always a cause of celebration when a new Attenborough series lands on the BBC. The latest instalment titled Mammals is an extraordinary testament to the unparalleled beauty and diversity of these animals, as well as demonstrating their ability to adapt to a changing world. This six-part miniseries narrated by Sir David Attenborough delves deep into the captivating lives of mammals across the globe, offering audiences an immersive and enlightening journey into their world. Each episode is a visual feast, capturing intimate moments that serve as the backdrop for the extraordinary behaviours and adaptations of these remarkable creatures. Thankfully as well, the series also documents in the impacts we as a species are having on these animals, while also exploring the ecology of the species being shown to the audience.

At the heart of the series is Attenborough’s unmistakable voice, a comforting and authoritative presence that guides viewers through the intricate narratives of survival, courtship, and family dynamics that define mammalian existence. His narration is both informative and poetic, seamlessly weaving scientific insights with evocative storytelling to create a rich tapestry of discovery. One of the most striking aspects of Mammals is its commitment to showcasing the diversity of mammalian life. From the smallest shrews to the largest whales, no species is overlooked, and each is given its moment to shine. Through stunning footage and expert commentary, viewers gain a newfound appreciation for the complexity and interconnectedness of the natural world. As we all know, I am not the biggest fan of mammals (for various complex reasons) but even I had fun watching this series and learning something new – such as seeing pig-tailed macaques hunt wood rats in an oil palm plantation in Malaysia.

Moreover, Mammals does not shy away from addressing the pressing conservation challenges facing many mammal species today. Whether highlighting the impact of habitat loss, climate change, or human-wildlife conflict, the series serves as a powerful call to action, urging viewers to take responsibility for the protection of these magnificent creatures and the ecosystems they inhabit. This is something that I like to see in a series, and for a long time, have been calling on producers to include more of in their wildlife documentaries. Unfortunately, the Natural World is no longer an untouched Eden, and wildlife filmmaking needs to reflect this. In addition to its visual splendour and conservation message, Mammals also excels in its ability to evoke a sense of wonder and awe. Whether capturing the playful antics of otters or the solitary grace of a prowling tiger, the series transports viewers to distant lands and allows them to witness the marvels of nature up close.

Overall, Mammals is a triumph of storytelling and cinematography, offering a compelling and unforgettable exploration of the world of mammals. With David Attenborough at the helm, it is both a celebration of life and a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect our planet’s precious biodiversity. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply curious about the natural world, this series is not to be missed (even if you’re a herpetologist).

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