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Evolutionary biologist and master skeleton builder Ben Garrod presents a six-part series looking at how bones have enabled vertebrates to colonise and dominate practically every habitat on Earth.
|S01E01||Size Matters||18/02/2014||Evolutionary biologist and master skeleton builder Ben Garrod begins a six-part journey to discover how bones have enabled vertebrates to colonise and dominate practically every habitat on Earth. Ben shows us what bone is constructed from and how it can support animals that are both minuscule - a frog just a few millimetres long - and massive - the blue whale, two hundred million times bigger.|
|S01E02||Down to Earth||25/02/2014||Evolutionary biologist and master skeleton builder Ben Garrod discovers how the skeleton has adapted for vertebrates to move on land in a remarkable number of ways. They can swing through the trees, slide on the forest floor, dig through dark subterranean worlds and run at speed across the savannahs. Ben explores the role of the spine in both cheetahs and snakes, shows how adaptations to the pentadactyl limb have helped gibbons and horses thrive and how one unique bone in the animal kingdom has been puzzling scientists for years.|
|S01E03||Into the Air||04/03/2014||Ben Garrod finds out how the skeleton has allowed vertebrates to do the most remarkable thing of all - take to the air. He discovers why the humble pigeon is such an exceptional flier, uncovers bony secrets as to how the albatross makes mammoth migrations and finds out why some birds have dense bones. Finally, he reveals which surprising flier is his 'ultimate'.|
|S01E04||Sensing the World||11/03/2014||Ben Garrod delves into the surprising ways in which bone has evolved to help vertebrates sense the world around them. He reveals why predators like the wolf have eyes at the front of their skull whereas prey animals such as sheep usually have eye sockets on the side of their heads. He finds out how the skull of the great grey owl has helped it develop such extraordinary hearing and uncovers the secret behind one bizarre creature's uniquely flexible nose.|
|S01E05||Food for Thought||18/03/2014||Ben Garrod uncovers the secrets of how vertebrates capture and devour their food using extreme jaws, bizarre teeth and specialized bony tools. He takes a cherry picker up a giant sperm whale's jaw, finds out which animal has teeth weighing five kilos each and which uses its skull as a suction pump. Ben gets his own skull scanned and 3D printed to discover how diet in humans isn't just affecting our waistlines but is also changing the shape of our bones.|
|S01E06||Sex||25/03/2014||Ben Garrod seeks out the big part that bones can play in reproduction. Through sexual selection, the skeleton has adapted to aid courtship, competition and even copulation. On his travels, Ben meets baseball players, drops a 10kg weight on a sheep's skull and finds out that by not having a penis bone humans are very much in the minority.|