Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse The Living Planet for a very
complete set of programs about the wildlife on our entire planet.

The Living Planet
A Portrait of the Earth

The Living Planet (2003) - 720 minutes
The Living Planet at Amazon.com

Hosted by David Attenborough

Twelve Programs:

  • Sweet Fresh Water
    • Follow fresh water as it makes its mad, headlong plunge from the mountains to the salty oceans, and its fascinating "aging" process.
    • As fresh water makes its mad, headlong plunge from the mountains to the salty oceans, it actually seems to “age.” Anthropologist David Attenborough unveils the fascinating process. Follow water’s reckless youth as the Amazon River rushes past in a fury. Its "tenants" must be tenacious. Small torrent ducks make heroic dives for food. And tiny caddis fly larvae glue themselves to rocks. When water reaches middle age, life is slower, but no less violent, as piranha go about their grisly work. Still "older" water settles into lakes such as Russia’s 400-mile-long Lake Baikal, a place of astonishing life and continuous change. And then, before joining the seas, water in the deltas becomes absolutely still – and absolutely astounding – as mirrored by Iraq’s March Arabs, who live astride rafts made of reeds.
  • Jungle
    • Encounter the diversity of the immense, green jungle - from the jaguars, armies of termites, and 200-foot Malaysian kapok trees to Ecuador's Waorani tribe - replete with face paint and poison darts.
    • It spans the globe – an immense, green equatorial belt called the jungle. Despite its immensity and dark mysteries, what fires the imagination is its diversity. Anthropologist David Attenborough takes you on an exquisite, ceiling–to-floor jungle excursion. The jumping-off point is a 200-foot Malaysian kapok tree, where a hawk eagle perches…ready to pounce. You're descend into the lush, still canopy that conceals a whirlwind of insect and animal life. Then you lowered into the midway, past the armies of termites on the march and gliding squirrels on the wing. At the jungle’s dark, dank floor, you encounter the jaguar and the most cunning of all jungle animals – humans! Ecuador’s Waorani tribe – replete with face paint and poison darts.
  • The Open Ocean
    • Journey to the immense, tantalizing world beneath the seas that remain the planet's great mysteries in search of all the provocative secrets that lie below.
    • Water covers two-thirds of the Earth. But the immense, tantalizing world beneath the sea remains one of the planet’s great mysteries. Anthropologist David Attenborough takes you on a spectacular underwater journey in search of all the provocative secrets that lie below the waves. What he uncovers is nothing short of breathtaking. Microscopic cameras plunge into the swirling "stew" of plant and animal life called plankton. A diver hitches a ride on the tailfin of a gigantic but patient whale shark. You’ll get a fish-eye view of the planet’s tallest mountains – which rise beneath the sea near Hawaii. Exquisite coral reefs bombard you with colors, contours, and the company of some fascinating creatures. And you’ll witness one of nature’s most bizarre ballets, the rendezvous of billions of fish, foul, and mammals on Newfoundland’s Great Banks.
  • The Northern Forests
    • Explore the intriguing and interrelated world of the forest. From the extremes of the Arctic deep freeze to the Tropics, where the forest floor spontaneously bursts into flames.
    • Anthropologist David Attenborough’s probing cameras and fresh insights make the woodlands a wonderland of fascinating extremes. Go from the Arctic deep freeze to the Tropics, where the forest floor actually spontaneously bursts into flames. Contrast enormous sequoias (Earth’s largest living organisms) with a horrific scorpion the size of a pinhead, or the dead of winter with a teeming spring. Yet, even with these extremes, the forest reveals itself as an intriguing and interrelated world. A world of evolution that produces giant grouse who wouldn’t dream of migrating south for the winter and of adaptation where voracious beetles can’t possibly pass up still smoldering pines. A world of predators against prey, in which caterpillars spray numbing resin on ants and shrews put the poisonous bite on strutting salamanders.
  • Seas of Grass
    • Take a global walk in the grass - from the savannahs of Brazil and American plains to the wilds of the African bush and Sudan, where herds of antelope run a gauntlet through poised spears of the Merle tribe.
    • Where it grows, there is life. Grass – the "stuff of life" – not only accounts for one-fourth of the planet’s vegetated area, it also is the chief sustenance of the planet’s animal life. Anthropologist David Attenborough takes you on a global walk in the grass. From the savannahs of Brazil, where giant anteaters roam among five-foot-high termite mounds. To the American plains, where the amazingly social prairie dog coexists with the resurgent buffalo. Then to Africa’s bush, for a visual feast of cheetahs on the prowl, wildebeests on the hoof, and miniature dik-diks on the make. And the Sudan, where you watch a huge herd of antelope run its annual gauntlet through the thousands of poised spears of the Merle tribe. Like the grasslands that attract it, the herd does not simply survive, it thrives.
  • The Frozen World
    • Explore the world's deep freeze and discover the spectacular life forms that live in a frozen realm of mystery and fascination as life hangs on tenaciously in the coldest most desolate reaches of Earth.
    • They shouldn’t support life, the coldest, most desolate reaches of the Earth. But life hangs on tenaciously there and is very definitely worth seeing. Anthropologist David Attenborough opens the world’s deep freeze and finds nothing but spectacular life-forms. Pure white doll sheep on Mount McKinley, whose horns are long and whose courtship battles are brutal. Emperor penguins, who huddle together against ferocious Antarctic winters. Foxes, polar bears, gulls, and seals, who are so well suited to the North Pole that "frozen" is a natural condition for them. And the tundra, whose brief six-week summer is a shining life-sustaining moment amazing to behold. Even the frozen death of a huge crab-eater seal on a barren Antarctic shoal offers both drama and mystery.
  • The Margins of the Land
    • Visit a variety of locals from the Bay of Bengal to the American Northwest to capture life from the tiniest to the most exceptional and experience some of the Earth's most remarkable displays of life that occur where the land meets the sea.
    • The Earth seems to have saved some of its most remarkable displays of life for that special place where the land meets the sea. Anthropologist David Attenborough takes you to a variety of locales to inspect this marginal but phenomenal place. To the muddy mangrove marshes of the Bay of Bengal, where the extraordinary monkskipper fish venture onto land to display their stylish, ecstatic courtship dance. Then to Southeast Asia, where the archerfish bag their insect prey [either] by spitting at them like water pistols or by leaping out of the water like tiny dolphins. And on to the American northwest, where interrelated, interconnected, interdependent plants and animals stretch from sea to sky. The camera captures life from the tiniest to the most – from microscopic snails beneath the sandy beach to the monstrous and magnificent leatherback turtle.
  • The Sky Above
    • Watch all manner of plants and animals living in the sky, from tiny weightless life-forms to huge creatures of powerful flight.
    • If the atmosphere the surrounds the Earth can be called an envelope, the anthropologist David Attenborough delivers it in a first-class and awe-inspiring way. From tiny weightless life-forms to huge creatures of "powerful flight," Attenborough turns his gaze and perception on all manner of plants and animals living in the sky. Ascend by balloon for vulture’s-eye view of the plains of the Serengeti in Africa. Descend into a cave in Venezuela to find the wondrous oilbirds, which navigate by clicking much the way bats do by squeaking. Witness a living aerial traffic jam above Panama. Sit alongside an albatross’s nest and watch this immense bird glide effortlessly and endlessly, putting its 11-foot wingspan to good use. Then, thanks to remarkable slow-motion photography, watch the peregrine falcon, the ace of the dive bombers, achieve a stunning mid-air kill.
  • The Baking Deserts
    • Wonder at the scorching days and frigid nights of the most relentlessly hostile place for life on the planet, and discover animals' shadowy quests for food as well as the remarkable "linking of life" between man and beast in the Sahara.
    • Scorching days, frigid nights. The desert should be the most relentlessly hostile place for life on the planet. But with anthropologist David Attenborough as a guide, you’ll see that the deserts are anything but deserted. As the midday sun begins to retreat, animals begin their shadowy quests for food – sleek caracal cats looking for gerbils, black widows for scorpions, fennec foxes for geckos. Follow the sand grouse’s grueling 25-mile flight in search of a water hole, from which it soaks up the life-sustaining liquid in its special underbelly then returns to quench its brood’s thirst. Gaze across miles and miles of desert blanketed by creosote bushes only to find its one bush – one tenacious, 12,000-year-old plant. And wonder at the remarkable "linking of life" between man and beast in the Sahara – the nomadic Tuareg’s prodigious partnership with their camels.
  • Worlds Apart
    • Witness isolated, singular mini-worlds where species are varied, vulnerable, and wonders to behold. Glimpse the unique and vivid life forms of places such as Komodo and Aldabra Island.
    • In a stirring piece of filmmaking, anthropologist David Attenborough takes you to out-of-the-way places that are, in every sense of the phrase, out of this world. Isolated, singular mini-worlds where species are varied, vulnerable, and wonders to behold. Travel to Aldabra Island, a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean, where millions of terns are mating and laying eggs and where more than 100,000 giant tortoises roam in their only habitat on Earth. Visit Komodo, a remote island off the coast of Indonesia, where the resident tough guy is a nine-foot-long lizard known as the Komodo dragon. Touch down in the Hawaiian Islands for a glimpse of unique and vivid life-forms – rainbow-colored birds and curious insects and the evolutionary niches they occupy. Then to New Zealand to encounter the flightless kiwi, the dinosaur-related tuatara, and a new, foreign predator, brought here 200 years ago as a pet, which now wanders and pillages in the wild; the cat.
  • The Building of the Earth
    • Gaze at the unique, otherworldly places surrounding volcanic eruptions and gain the rare insight into the intertwined destinies of plants, animals, and humans as you start to understand just how hot a process life really is.
    • From the icy summits of the Himalayas to the lush Tropics, anthropologist David Attenborough’s view is awesome. So is his mission: to give you a rare insight into the intertwined destinies of plants, animals, and humans. Move up and down the Himalayan valley and come upon remarkable creatures: The adorable Himalayan panda; flocks of choughs, the highest-flying birds on the planet; and humans, who cling to life here thanks to plowing yaks and plodding mules. This footage is sensational, but stay tuned for even more primal activity in Earth’s live volcanoes. Visit Iceland, Java, Mount St. Helens – even the ocean floor – to see these fantastic fountains of fire. As you gaze at the unique, otherworldly places surrounding these eruptions, you’ll start to understand just how hot a process life really is.
  • New Worlds
    • Come to a world where humans have altered the Earth to suit themselves, and learn of the immense price the planet is paying for our modifications - to our fellow creatures, to plant life, and to the environment.
    • As the planet spins, shifts, erupts, melts, and freezes, it forces its inhabitants to accept this truth: A life-form either changes its ways or it passes away. Every life-form, that is, except one: humans. Anthropologist David Attenborough takes us to a world we’ve created ourselves – where humans have altered the Earth to suit themselves. The trip begins in Jordan – where in prehistoric times humans first created shelters, clustered in villages, and domesticated sheep. Then you sweep across Europe to see how we cleared forests, conquered the terrain, and made farming a life’s work. Next, you visit Asia, where Homo sapiens terraced and flooded the landscape to create the awesome, life-sustaining rice fields. Yet some of these new worlds are more brazen than brave, and Attenborough tallies and documents the immense price the planet is paying for our modifications – to our fellow creatures, to plant life, and to the environment.

The Living Planet
A Portrait of the Earth

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse The Living Planet for a very
complete set of programs about the wildlife on our entire planet.