8:00pm – Thursday, March 10 on ABC1
New look Catalyst takes to nature in this Special Animal Edition teeming with zoological science. Catalyst visits the zoo and the farm and treks into the wilds of Africa. Featuring more, shorter reports, this week’s program talks to the animals…
Trunk Calls Scientists at San Diego Zoo have discovered a remarkable level of chatter going on between African elephants. Graham Phillips meets the elephants using low frequency sound waves, too low to be picked up by the human ear, in complex vocal communication.
Zoonosis The life threatening diseases SARS, Bird Flu and AIDS all jumped from an animal host into humans. Poor rural communities living cheek to jowl with livestock provide the perfect opportunity for pathogens to take the leap from a goat, chicken or sheep into a farmhand or baby. And as agriculture encroaches on virgin forest, there is an increased threat of these diseases emerging from the wild. Dr Paul Willis travelled to Kenya, to the frontline of the war against zoonoses.
Peacock Spider After spending three years in search of a 4mm spider, Dr Jurgen Otto’s perseverance paid off when he not only found but also filmed the male Peacock Spider in all its glory – as it raised its brilliantly coloured flaps and waved its legs in a life and death love dance.
Belly Flop Frogs The springy leap of the frog wasn’t always so graceful on landing. Super slow-motion footage clearly and comically shows how antecedents of the modern frog were unable to recoil their legs in flight – ensuring a crash landing at the end of every journey.
Love Calls Sydney’s Taronga Zoo plays an important role in the protection of threatened and endangered species. Paul Willis visits their captive corroboree frogs, now outnumbering those in the wild, and meets a leopard seal learning love songs.