Walking With Beasts BBC Part06 Mammoth Journey
Click here to download subtitles file for the movie "Walking With Beasts BBC Part06 Mammoth Journey"
For the last 50 million years|the world has been getting
But something else has now helped|tip it over the edge.
A change in the earth's orbit is taking|it further from the sun.
This has brought on an lce Age.
Conditions for all life become|extremely hazardous,
even for the mighty mammoths.
The early autumn snow f all has concealed|a barely frozen pond.
This young female has f allen through|the ice and is trapped.
Such are the bonds between mammoths|that the heard do not leave
their stranded sister.
They stay near by, distressed but|powerless except to comfort her.
Before long, the scavengers|have started to gather.
lt could take days for the female|to die and the heard cannot
afford to wait.
Eventually they are forced|to abandon her.
They must keep moving to escape|the coming lce Age winter.
For the few months of summer there is|little here to suggest that
the world is in the middle of an lce Age
An endless sea of grass and flowers|supports a variety of animals.
But just a few metres down, the ground|is frozen solid all year round.
There is now so much water frozen|at the poles that sea levels
have f allen dramatically.
lf it wasn't an lce Age this grassland|would be the bottom
of the North Sea.
As it is, it's a magnet for millions|of grazing animals during the summer.
The biggest grass-eaters of them|all are the mammoths.
This programme will be following one|particular herd in their annual
struggle against the elements.
Like all mammoth herds, this one is|mostly female since males leave
There are five adult females|a ten year old male and
smallest of all, a male calf|just six months old.
Born in the spring he has yet to|experience how bad a winter can be.
The eldest member is the matriarch.
She is a veteran of some 40 winters|and it is her experience
that ensures the survival of the herd|when the going gets tough.
Mammoths are just one of many herbivores|to enjoy the summer bounty.
They are all animals, in their own way|built for the cold. The mammoths
and bison have their characteristic|shaggy coats while the Saiga
antelopes have another adaptation.
Broad noses help them warm up the|air before they breathe it.
With so much game it is not surprising|there are also predators.
Human hunt on these plains in summer.
They have not physical adaptation to|cope with the cold but instead
wear animal hides and weave cloth to|protect themselves.
These predators specialise in small prey|and seldom hunt anything as big
and dangerous as the mammoths.
But mammoths are nonetheless very|important to them.
With so little wood on parts of|the plain they collect
the tusks of dead animals to|build huts and even use their
bones for fuel.
These most inventive of creatures are|capable of making the most of
every resource available.
Of all the summer visitors|the most numerous are the flies
which are a constant source of|irritation for the mammoths.
The humans, however|have learnt to do something about them.
They grind up a paste made out of|a mineral called ochre which
helps keep the insects at bay.
Come the autumn, this plain will|become a freezing hell hole
so the mammoths make the most of|the summer while they can.
They eat up to 180 kilograms of grass|a day while the males mate with
as many females as possible.
Early autumn and the big|freeze has begun.
The mammoths are still on|the northern plains.
These creatures evolved from|hairless elephants in Africa
but have become living fortresses|against the cold.
Under their skin they have a|layer of f at 10cms thick
Also they have small ears and|short tails to prevent them
losing too much heat.
On top of all this they have their|characteristic carpet of hair
which has now grown to a metre|in length as their bodies respond
to the drop in temperatures.
As the weeks pass, the true savagery of|the climate begins to bite.
The humans have already left the plains|to seek shelter and
milder weather further south.
Soon the mammoths too will go.
With little grass available and no|protection from a wind chill
that will average minus 50 degrees|centigrade, even they have to
This lce Age is in f act only one of many
Two and a half million years ago|the earth's climate started on a
roller coaster of warmer|and colder periods.
There have been almost 50 lce Ages|so f ar but this is
the coldest yet.
The matriarch decides it is time to|head off towards the less
exposed valleys of the Alps.
lt is a 400km journey that|they are driven to every year.
For the Megaloceros, autumn is not|a time to travel,
it is a time to rut.
These males are fighting for the harem|of females nearby.
Winner takes all.
Megaloceros are a giant form of deer|and the males sport a most
impressive set of antlers.
Each one is as long as a person.
lt's a wonder they can even hold|their heads up.
Exhausted from fighting,|neither has noticed
they are in a trap.
Humans are predators unlike any before.|They use not strength but strategy,
pushing the Megaloceros into|the trees where their antlers
Only one of them|has the energy to break out.
The humans will have to take what|they want as quickly as possible
before lce Age scavengers like wolves,|lions and hyenas make this a
dangerous place to be.
Half way through their journey and|the mammoths are progressing well.
But for one member of the herd|it is a constant struggle,
This is his first winter.
Many yearlings never see their second.
They soon catch up with other|migrating animals.
Humans are also heading for the Alps|where the extensive cave networks
make perfect winter retreats.
The matriarch keeps a wary eye on them|and the humans know better
than to get too close.
The days pass and the calf is starting|to get into trouble.
He is having real difficulty keeping up.
His mother stays with him but the herd|cannot wait and the pair are
starting to f all behind.
On this snowscape a lion might seem|out of place but they are common
in Europe at this time and a baby|mammoth in trouble is just
the sort of thing to bring|this cave lion out of its den.
Defended by a full grown adult|the baby is relatively safe.
But the lion continues to stalk|hoping for the mother's guard to slip.
The pair have now completely|lost the herd.
Across the landscape other mammoths|are making the same journey
This is an adult male and|he travels alone.
There are lions in his way|feasting on a straggler,
in this case not a mammoth|calf but a human.
The lions will have to let him pass.
Nothing gets in the way of|a mammoth migrating.
Mammoths are sociable animals and|as the forests around them become
denser so the small herds|start to join up.
Soon hundreds of mammoths are winding|their way through the wintry
lowlands of Europe.
As the mammoths near the Alsace region|the terrain changes dramatically
Flat plains give way to|hills and valleys.
lt is here that lives another species|of human, the Neanderthals.
They are much shorter than|the other humans and,
like other lce Age animals|they have big noses to
warm the air they breathe.
Rather than migrate they stay within|the same valleys all year long,
weathering out the worst of the winter|in shallow caves.
But with this recent lce Age their|numbers have plummeted.
This is now an endangered species.
Another animal that doesn't travel|south in winter is the woolly rhino.
They are very short-sighted and this|huge male has not even noticed the
Neanderthal just 50m away.
For a while, the Neanderthal doesn't|notice the rhino either.
Woolly rhinos are easily startled and|will charge at anything that
Even at this distance he won't see|the Neanderthal but his
sense of smell is better than his sight
The rhino has picked up the scent.
lt is fortunate for the Neanderthal|that his species is stronger and
more heavily built than the other humans.
Thick bones and a barrel chest help him|deal with a very tough lifestyle.
Having travelled almost 400km in two|weeks the herd at last arrives
at the foothills of the Alps.
Here, in the sheltered forests|and valleys, they will
spend their winter.
Here there is protection from the wind|as well as food.
Thanks to their highly dextrous trunks,|these grassland animals can
sustain themselves on trees,|like these spruce,
when their usual food is buried|under thick snow.
A week later and the matriarch hears|a f amiliar call.
The calf and his mother have at last|caught up with the rest of the herd.
Touching each other with their trunks|members of the herd renew their
bonds with the pair. The most hazardous|part of the winter is over and the
calf has survived.
ln an lce Age spring comes late.|lt is May before things have
warmed up enough for the snow to melt|and a carpet of flowers to spring up.
With the increase in temperature|the woolly rhinos have moulted
and are not as woolly as they were.
The mammoths too have already shed|their long, winter coats
to leave a lighter under wool only|a few centimetres long.
The calf has come through the winter|in good health and,
now he has been weaned,|spends more time away from his mother.
He is also no longer the youngest|The herd's latest member arrived
just a few weeks ago.
lt's a little female.
The rhinos, meanwhile, are starting|to get feisty again.
These two males are fighting|for territory.
But these confrontations aren't|always violent.
They scrape their horns on the ground|until one of them backs down
and leaves the area to the victor.
But while winter may be over here|the northern plains are still
defrosting and so the herd will spend|a couple of weeks in the valleys yet.
lt gives the newest arrival a bit more|time to get some strength in her
legs before the journey back north.
There is a downside to all this warmer|weather - insects are becoming
a problem again.
But where there's mud, there's a way.
A good shower of mud can help prevent|the insects biting.
Or maybe mammoths just do this|for the fun of it.
Like autumn in reverse, the great|mammoth caravans form once more
as it's time to head north.
Soon the mountains are behind them|but they are coming into
The Neanderthals are waiting.
For them the mammoths coming north is|one of the most important times
of the year.
They are about to risk life|and limb to hunt them.
To take on a mammoth they need|every advantage they can get.
The wait for dusk when the cliff will|become less visible and they can
make effective use of their|secret weapon - fire.
The Neanderthals descend to the bottom|of the cliff to butcher
One of the mammoths is still alive.
The Neanderthals are supreme hunters|which is why they have lasted
over 260,000 years.
But they have a weakness -|they do not adapt well to change.
As a result of the harsher climate|and the arrival of other humans,
Neanderthals are f ast disappearing.
ln another 2000 years they'll|be gone altogether.
The herd eventually arrive back|on the northern plains.
Fortunately, both of the youngsters have|survived the journey.
The herd has, nonetheless,|suffered a major loss.
The matriarch is missing.
Killed when the Neanderthals attacked.
lt is now her sister that leads the herd|into the future.
Mammoths will last another 24,000 years.
They are superbly adapted for|this cold world.
But when it gets warm again the grassy|plains they depend upon will disappear.
The humans have a different future|ahead of them.
When change comes, they will be able to|deal with it because
they can adapt and they have the|ability to shape the world around them.
One day they'll look back on all this.
We have since built museums to celebrate|the past and spent decades
studying prehistoric lives.
And if all this has taught us anything|it's this-no species lasts forever.
Wag The Dog
Waga seishun ni kuinashi 1946
Wait Until Dark CD1
Wait Until Dark CD2
Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Waking Ned Divine
Waking Up In Reno
Walk On The Moon A 1999
Walk To Remember A
Walk on Water
Walk on the Wild Side
Walking With Beasts BBC Part02 Whale Killer
Walking With Beasts BBC Part03 Land Of Giants
Walking With Beasts BBC Part04 Next Of Kin
Walking With Beasts BBC Part05 Sabre Tooth
Walking With Beasts BBC Part06 Mammoth Journey
Walking and Talking 1996
Walking tall (2004)
Walking with Dinosaurs
WarGames (1983) CD1
WarGames (1983) CD2
War Game The
War Game The (author commentary)
War Hunt 1962
War Is Over The (Alain Resnais 1966)
War Lover The 1962
War Zone The
War and Peace CD1
War and Peace CD2
War of the Roses The
War of the Worlds The
War of the Worlds The (1953)
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (Shohei Imamura 2001) CD1
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (Shohei Imamura 2001) CD2
Warriors Of Heaven And Earth 2003 CD1
Warriors Of Heaven And Earth 2003 CD2
Warriors Of Heaven And Earth CD1
Warriors Of Heaven And Earth CD2
Washington Heights (2002)
Water Drops on Burning Rock
Waterloo 1970 CD1
Waterloo 1970 CD2
Way We Were The
Way of the Gun The
Waynes World 1992
Waynes World 2
We Are No Angels 1989
We Dont Live Here Anymore
We Were Soldiers
Weapon of War CD1
Weapon of War CD2
Wedding Planner The
Wedding Singer The
Weekend Godard 1967
Weekend at Bernies II
Weight of Water The
Weird Science CD1
Weird Science CD2
Welcome Back Mr McDonald 1997
Welcome To Mooseport
Welcome to Collinwood (2002)
Welcome to Sarajevo
Welcome to the Dollhouse
Wes Cravens New Nightmare
West Side Story CD1
West Side Story CD2
West Wing The
Whale Rider 2002
Whales Of August The 1987
What About Bob (1991)
What Dreams May Come CD1 1998
What Dreams May Come CD2 1998
What Fault Is It Of Ours 2003 CD1
What Fault Is It Of Ours 2003 CD2
What Lies Beneath CD1
What Lies Beneath CD2
What Planet Are You From
What Price Glory
What Women Want
What Women Want CD1
What Women Want CD2
What a Girl Wants
What a Way to Go 1964
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane 1962
Whatever It Takes
Whats Eating Gilbert Grapewegg CD1
Whats Eating Gilbert Grapewegg CD2
Whats Love Got To Do With It 1993
Whats New Pussycat
Whats The Worst That Could Happen
Whats Up Doc
Wheels on Meals
When A Man Loves A Woman 1994 CD1
When A Man Loves A Woman 1994 CD2
When Harry Met Sally
When I Turned Nine 2004 CD1
When I Turned Nine 2004 CD2
When Ruoma Was Seventeen 2002
When The Last Sword Is Drawn 2003 CD1
When The Last Sword Is Drawn 2003 CD2
When Will I Be Loved 2004
When the Rain Lifts 1999
When the Sky Falls
When we were kings
Where Angels Go Trouble Follows (James Neilson 1968)
Where Eagles Dare CD1
Where Eagles Dare CD2
Where The Heart Is
Where the Red Fern Grows 2003
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Whisper of the Heart
White Fang - To the Rescue
White Man Cant Jump CD1
White Man Cant Jump CD2
White Sheik The
White Sun Of The Desert 1970
White Valentine - 25fps - 1999
White Valentine 1999
Who Are You 2002 CD1
Who Are You 2002 CD2
Who Is Cletis Tout
Who framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Whole Nine Yards The
Whole ten yards The
Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf CD1
Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf CD2
Whos Harry Crumb
Whos That Knocking at My Door
Whos Your Daddy
Wicked - 29,970fps 1998
Wicked 1998 29,970fps
Wicked City - 1973
Wicked City 1973
Wicker Park CD1
Wicker Park CD2
Wild Bunch The
Wild Bunch The - Restored Directors Cut
Wild One The
Wind Carpet The (Kamal Tabrizi 2003)
Wind Will Carry Us The CD1
Wind Will Carry Us The CD2
Wings of Desire CD1
Wings of Desire CD2
Wizard Of Darkness
Wizard of Oz The CD1
Wizard of Oz The CD2
Women from Mars
Women in Black The
World Is Not Enough The
Worst of Ed Wood Boxed Set The