The Shape Of Life – Survival Game (PBS HD Documentary)
Behind the beautiful shapes and colors of seashells is the story of how a group of animals called molluscs evolved in order to survive. The wide variety of molluscs includes clams, oysters, snails, mussels, squid, and octopus. The word mollusc comes from Latin meaning „soft,“ a good description of the group’s fleshy bodies. Of course, in an ocean filled with predators, a soft body is easily eaten. The early molluscs that happened to develop hard shells not only managed to survive but also succeeded in launching an ever escalating 500 million year old battle between themselves and their predators. Molluscs have survived throughout the millennia by having an immensely adaptable body plan. The ancestors of Nautilus evolved buoyant shells, a trait that allowed them to launch off the seafloor and become successful swimming predators known as cephalopods. As each generation struggled against increasingly clever predators like vertebrates, the cephalopods accumulated more and more sophisticated innovations through evolution. One adaptation lay in speed. In creatures such as squid, the shell became smaller, moved inside the body and all but vanished. Another adaptation lay in brainpower. Octopuses and cuttlefish think, learn and react to their environments in ways surpassed only by vertebrates. If you have a soft body in the middle of the ocean, being clever will help survival. A revolutionary eight-part television series that reveals the dramatic rise of the animal kingdom through the breakthroughs of scientific discovery. The Shape of Life tells the gripping and magnificent tale of the beginnings of all animal life. Using innovative camera techniques to capture rarely seen creatures and breathtaking computer animation to reveal stunning detail, this digital high-definition series tells the stories of the revolutionary findings and scientific breakthroughs in biology, genetics and paleontology that are rewriting the book of life. The series celebrates the splendors and struggles of evolution, unveiling eight biological designs that are the underpinnings of nearly all animal life.
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