Sunday, 5 July 2009

Inside Natures Giants: Elephant

WARNING:

The following review contains very explicit images of animal viscera. If you are not comfortable with this STOP NOW. If you are scroll down for the article.

 

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You could be very much forgiven for thinking that this show is the latest in a long line of channel 4’s exploitation programming, we have had sex, gore and human dissection, where do we go from here?

Well you are wrong. The show was brilliantly presented and well thought out depicting a dissection of an animal that had been euthanized for health reasons. One thing that is made very clear in the programme is the fact that they regard it as a natural history programme and in this I think it was a resounding success. Natural history has of late become very stagnant, relying on spectacle and glory and doing very little to educate. I certainly found BBC shows such as The Blue Planet and Life on Earth as technically outstanding shows that were poorly constructed and very low on actual information. Inside Natures Giants certainly was not that.vlcsnap-2780264

In the space of 45 minutes I learnt about Elephant digestion, brain size, evolution and tooth growth to name but 4. I found it fascinating and if I told you I had a natural history background with a Biology Degree, you would probably be surprised to find extremely educational.

One section that was truly eye opening was the section regarding the animals gut. Surprising even the resident vet with its size and capacity. The structure of the trunk, lungs and feet were also investigated with revelations from each.

I would seriously recommend taking a look at this to anybody with even a passing interest in animals and a strong stomach. I just hope it doesn't descend in quality in the way that BBC3’s Kill it, Cook it, Eat it has done. Tomorrow night we will see the beach dissection of a Whale, Channel 4 9pm 6th July.vlcsnap-2786644

If you want to catch the Elephant episode it can be viewed on 4oD (may be unavailable outside the UK) HERE

Oh and if anyone's wondering the Elephant had chronic arthritis in at least one leg. To a degree that would warrant a new joint in humans.

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