The Resource Life in cold blood : Sophisticated Serpents, narrated by David Attenborough

Life in cold blood : Sophisticated Serpents, narrated by David Attenborough

Life in cold blood : Sophisticated Serpents
Life in cold blood
Title remainder
Sophisticated Serpents
Statement of responsibility
narrated by David Attenborough
From iguanas emerging out of a tropical swamp to a face-to-face encounter with a monitor lizard in the Australian desert, David Attenborough traces the lizards{u2019} colonisation of the Earth as they ultimately became the Dragons Of The Dry. The first step in their success was the evolution of hard shelled eggs. In Australia, lace monitors lay eggs in termite mounds leaving the babies with a problem when it comes to hatching {u2013} an adult has to dig them out. Once freed, like many small lizards, they take to the trees for safety. Male jacky dragons use their tree perches to display by head bobbing and arm waving. Sometimes, they fight to back up their signalling and the loser admits submission with a slow arm wave. In Florida, David encourages an anole to display by using a mirror to simulate a rival. It head bobs and then flashes a vibrant red dewlap flap on its throat at the 2imposter3. But the real masters of colourful display are the chameleons. In Madagascar, David meets the smallest in the world {u2013} the minute pygmy leaf chameleon. In Malawi, there is a joust between two dinosaur-like Mellor{u2019}s chameleons and, in South Africa, a Cape dwarf chameleon gives birth to a litter of young in a tree. As the babies drop, their fall is broken by a sticky substance that catches on the branches. The secrets of the chameleon{u2019}s hunting technique are revealed as the action is slowed down by up to 80 times using an ultra-high-speed camera. The tip of the tongue actually grasps and enfolds the prey. New discoveries are also made about the elusive pygmy blue-tongued skinks. David tempts one out of its burrow with a fishing rod, and a special probe camera reveals the secrets of its underground family life. The babies remain with their mothers for weeks just like birds in a nest. Less touching, but more dramatic, is the free-for-all mating frenzy of the brilliantly coloured South African flat lizards. Females are constantly harassed by ardent males and have to thrash them with their tails and flailing arms to keep them under control. Equally impressive are the bizarre wrestling bouts of the Mexican beaded lizards, which can last over an hour. Males circle and grasp each other, eventually locking together to form an arch while still trying to push each other over. The one that gains the most submissions is the winner. Other lizards owe their success to deceit rather than strength. In South African deserts, baby bushveld lizards mimic the black and white warning colouration and stiff legged, hunched gait of a beetle. It serves as protection because this particular beetle has a very unpleasant form of defence. David experiences at first hand how it squirts acid at predators. Finally, he returns to the baking deserts of central Australia, home to the bizarre ant-eating thorny devil and the largest of Australian lizards, the 5ft-long perentie {u2013} a true Dragon Of The Dry
Cataloging source
Credits note
  • Senior producer Hilary Jeffkins (Animal Crime Scene, Wildlife on One) ; series producer Miles Barton (Journey of Life, The Life of Birds) ; executive poducer Sara Ford (Wildlife on One [editor], Wildlife Specials, Jungle, Animal Camera)
  • Producer, Miles Barton ; Director, Scott Alexander , executive producer Sarah Ford
Date time place
Originally produced by BBCActive in 2008
Written and presented by David Attenborough
Life in cold blood : Sophisticated Serpents, narrated by David Attenborough
Antecedent source
  • net
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier MARC source
Configuration of playback channels
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type MARC source
Control code
1 online resource (streaming video file) (approximately 50 min.)
File format
Level of compression
Media category
  • computer
  • video
Media MARC source
  • rdamedia
  • rdamedia
Media type code
Medium for sound
Other physical details
digital, stereo., sound, color
Publisher number
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
  • other
  • remote
System control number
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Video recording format

Library Locations

    • Deakin University Library - Geelong Waurn Ponds CampusBorrow it
      75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, 3216, AU
      -38.195656 144.304955
Processing Feedback ...