Docs

BBC ‘Natural World’ preps “Nature’s Wildest Weapons”

The BBC’s longest-running wildlife series ‘Natural World’ is slated to examine the links between the animal kingdom’s super weapons and nuclear warheads in a new documentary. Co-produced by NOVA, Nature’s Wildest ...
April 11, 2017

The BBC’s longest-running wildlife series ‘Natural World’ is slated to examine the links between the animal kingdom’s super weapons and nuclear warheads in a new documentary.

Co-produced by NOVA, Nature’s Wildest Weapons: Horn, Tusk and Antlers focuses on the discoveries and theories of Professor Doug Emlen (pictured), a University of Montana biologist, who has spent more than 30 years investigating how weapon-bearing species have developed extreme ways to gouge and gore one another using their natural weapons.

Featured subjects in the film include Darwin’s and Rhinoceros beetles,which have pitchfork-like horns that measure one third the length of their bodies; American elk who deplete their skeletons to grow enormous antlers; and the U.S. Air Force’s development of the long-range Minuteman III nuclear missile, Earth’s most lethal weapon to date.

The documentary is directed by Peter Fison and narrated by Marcella actor Nina Sosanya.

Nature’s Wildest Weapons: Horn, Tusk and Antlers premieres April 18 at 9 p.m. GMT on BBC2.

“What makes Doug’s work fascinating is that he asks us to look at the animal kingdom from a fresh perspective. We’ve all seen horned, tusked and antlered animals before, but I suspect few of us have considered what it is like to carry around an appendage weighing nearly as much as the rest of you everywhere you go, or why it’s worth it,” said Fison in a statement. “Doug’s radical theory is that all weapons — animal or human — develop under the same conditions and are produced for the same reasons. If Doug is right, the existence and function of nuclear warheads and elk antlers is the same and, potentially, just as vulnerable to cheats.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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