Life Story is BBC One’s new landmark series from the award-winning Natural History Unit. Presented by David Attenborough, it tells the remarkable and often perilous story of the journey through life. It is a story that unites each of us with every animal on the planet, because we all set out on this journey from the moment we are born. For animals there is just one goal in life – to continue their bloodline in the form of offspring. This series follows that journey through its six crucial stages: first steps, growing up, finding a home, gaining power, winning a mate and succeeding as a parent.
Animals must find somewhere to live - a place that provides the necessities of life, shelter from the elements and a refuge from enemies. Good homes are rare and competition can be intense - finding a home is one thing, but defending it is quite another. Home for a pack of African hunting dogs is a vast plain in Zambia. But it's far from safe. They must protect their young from predators and battle their age-old enemy, the hyena. Hermit crabs on an isolated tropical island make their homes in empty snail shells. But there is a severe housing shortage. When a new property washes ashore the crabs form an orderly queue, in order of size. It's a housing chain. When the chain is complete each crab moves into the newly-vacated shell ahead of it in the line. Chimps have made a home on the edge of the Sahara desert. They only survive by knowing how to find water even in the most extreme droughts. The elders lead their troop on a brutal trek to a dried-out riverbed. Once there they know exactly where to dig to create wells.
An individual’s life journey interweaves with many others. Those who are successful know when to fight or back down, when to cooperate or to go it alone and how to manipulate and deceive. But power is the ultimate prize: animals will use any means to rise through the ranks and win the game of life.
Competition to win a partner …has created some of the most extraordinary beauty and life-threatening violence anywhere in nature. Dazzling colours, elaborate dances and powerful weapons have all evolved to attract and defend a mate. The stakes could not be higher: without a mate, the journey of life ends here... sometimes literally.
David Attenborough brings us the universal story that unites each of us with every animal on the planet, the story of the greatest of all adventures - the journey through life. For animals there is just one goal in life - to continue their bloodline in the form of offspring, the next best thing to immortality. The series shows how animals attempt to overcome the challenges that face them at each of the six crucial stages of life as they strive towards ultimate success. In the first episode, animals overcome their first great hurdle - surviving infancy. Flightless barnacle goose chicks face their greatest challenge at the very start of their lives. In order to find food they must leap 400 feet down a cliff, from the ledge where they hatched. Young fur seals in New Zealand have found the perfect place to learn how to avoid predators like killer whales. Instead of swimming out to sea they have discovered a stream that leads into the forest and ends at a magical splash pool below a waterfall. Here the youngsters learn together in perfect safety. The little-known long-eared jerboa, deep in the Gobi desert, has the largest ears relative to its body of any animal on earth. On its first night alone, it learns how to use its astonishing hearing to detect insect prey in the darkness. Albatross chicks make their first flight from the Pacific island where they were born, but huge tiger sharks are waiting for any that misjudge and land on the sea.
In the final challenge of the game of life, raising offspring is the ultimate prize. Continuing the line through the next generation, is the next best thing to immortality. But it’s far from easy... Some parents must risk their own lives for their offspring.
In the journey towards adulthood, a moment comes for all animals when they must strike out on their own. With their parents absent they must learn to survive in a dangerous world. At this stage of life every small success may mean the difference between life and death.