BBC1’s epic new nature series The mating game, Watch legendary wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough reveal the fascinating story behind some romantic real-life animals.
The veteran broadcaster explores the dating scene in the animal kingdom and how creatures, from ostriches in Namibia to pandas in China, find the perfect match.
“I hope viewers get away with the overwhelming truth, which is how incredibly elusive the variety of the natural world is, what governs the animal world, and what governs the way animals behave,” says Sir David Attenborough. “It shows the natural world in its most spectacular form.”
Here’s everything you need to know about BBC1 The mating game…
‘The Mating Game’ release date
The mating game, shown in five episodes, begins Sunday, October 3 at 8pm on BBC1. It will then be shown every Sunday after the same time, and the episodes will also be streamed to the BBCiPlayer streaming service. We haven’t heard of a US or worldwide release date yet, but we’ll update when we hear from you.
Sir David Attenborough on what happens in ‘The Mating Game’ …
The mating game explore nature’s ultimate quest, the search for a companion, and how animals around the world do it, whether through thoughtful gestures, deception, quirkiness, or good old-fashioned fights.
“Almost every animal on earth faces a challenge: the need to find a mate,” says Attenborough. “For some it takes place on an immense scale, others need to put on a show, and for many it involves intense, even lethal battles! It is a wonderful sight and it can be very dramatic.”
The mating game it also uses state-of-the-art camera technology to capture some extraordinary mating rituals, including the never-before-filmed display of the Argus pheasant in the Borneo rainforest.
“It is without a doubt one of the most dramatic bird displays in history,” says Sir David Attenborough. “We use six or seven camera traps and the results are sensational.”
What animals appear in ‘The Mating Game’?
The mating game features creatures from all corners of the earth that stand out, including various animals that like to fight rivals for a chance to woo a potential mate.
Chimpanzees are known for their brutality and violence, while kangaroos are seen fighting their rivals and ostriches will defend their harem from younger males with a kick that has the power to kill a lion.
Sir David Attenborough also describes the animals that live in the ocean, including humpback whales, sea lions, and flatworms, who determine who fertilizes using a penis fence. And the presenter also reveals how thousands of tree frogs descend on a pond in French Guiana in a single night to breed.
“Conditions for mating and exhibiting were restricted to just 12 hours a year when the jungle got so soggy that puddles formed on the ground,” says Sir David. “You need 100 percent humidity and high temperatures and no sunlight, and there are about a dozen, if not more, different species, all of which want these pools. So it’s a giant-scale jamboree and the air It’s full of so much noise that you can barely hear yourself speak. “
Episode One of ‘The Mating Game’ – Grassland: In Plain Sight
The kick of an ostrich is powerful enough to kill a lion. So it takes a lot of guts for a young ostrich to challenge a dominant male for his harem, as revealed by Sir David Attenborough in the first episode of The mating game called Grasslands: In plain sight …
“There are not many ostriches on the dry plains of Namibia and females are difficult to find,” says Sir David. “During the breeding season, each flock is dominated by a single male. Their territory and the females that accompany it are a hard-earned asset, so their leadership is only challenged by the brave – or the daredevils!”
The five-part series reveals the extraordinary strategies animals use to find a mate, but in this week’s first episode, most seem to involve fights!
In the Serengeti of Africa, zebra stallions aggressively drive hopeful bachelors away from their females, while in the grasslands of South Australia, male gray kangaroos use their kick to get at females.
“These battles are almost always won by the largest male,” explains Sir David. “As a result, the males have become very large. At eight feet tall, they are more than twice the size of the females!”
Even though some birds, like the wading bird, put on a show to attract a mate by displaying their impressive neck feathers, they often end up fighting over the females!
“Females have many males to choose from and, with only a few females, the males soon fight each other,” says Sir David. “Some find a partner, but many do nothing but fight!”
‘The Mating Game’ – episode guide
Here are the five episodes of The mating game with the dates they are expected to land on BBC1 and most of the animals featured. We will update with any changes and preview each episode as the series progresses …
The mating game Ep 1 – Grasslands: In Plain Sight – Sunday October 3, 8pm, BBC1
Ostriches, Termites, Nursery Web Spiders, Zebras, Kangaroos, Ruff (see above for our preview episode one).
The mating game Episode 2 – Oceans: Out of the Blue – Sunday October 10, 8 pm, BBC1
Humpback whales, sharks, stingrays, seahorses, clown fish, marine flatworms, banana fiddler crab.
The mating game Ep 3 – Jungles: In the Thick Of It – Sunday October 17, 6 pm, BBC1
Chimpanzees, chameleon, mandrill, Australian tree mantis, fireflies, Argus pheasant, Caribbean purple-throated hummingbird, aratai frogs.
The mating game Episode 4 – Fresh Water: Timing is Everything – Sunday October 24, 8 pm, BBC1
African giant bullfrog, hooded grebe, sock-eyed salmon, hell master, lesser flamingos, callipterus fish, red lechwe, alligator.
The mating game Ep 5 – Against All Odds – Sunday October 31, 8 pm, BBC1
Giant panda, toads, albatrosses, burrowing bees, monarch butterfly, wild turkeys, cicadas.
Is there a trailer for ‘The Mating Game’?
There is no trailer for The mating game It has already been released by the BBC, but just like the series we are sure it will be a delight, so we will update as soon as we have something to share!
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