Kilauea: Mountain of Fire
Sunday, May 2nd at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Kilauea, on Hawaii’s Big Island, is the world’s most active volcano. Its latest eruption began in 1983 and hasn’t stopped. Since that time, it has created 544 acres of new land and consumed 200 homes. But as we watch nature’s own fireworks display and witness the devastation wrought by flowing lava, we’ve also been able to observe a process that’s central to life on these islands. The most spectacular moment of creation is when lava pours into the ocean creating new land; it is here that filmmaker Paul Atkins finds himself getting a shot few have ever filmed — the cataclysmic meeting of 2,000-degree lava and 75-degree ocean water — a sight to behold.
Born Wild: The First Days of Life
Sunday, May 9th at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
The most important moment of an animal’s life is its birth. The newborn emerges from dark safety to find anxious parents clucking or mewing. The first hours are some of the most dangerous. This film follows the birth and first days of several species, from marmoset to moose to elephant and gorilla. It is a film of miniature drama and huge spectacle, and comes to some surprising conclusions about human beings.
Crash: A Tale of Two Species
Sunday, May 16th at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
This is a story of the interconnection of life, how every species is important, no matter how big or small. At the center is the humble horseshoe crab, a creature that has remained virtually unchanged for 300 million years. Its annual spring spawning produces millions of eggs that are the lifeline for a tiny bird called a red knot, which migrates 10,000 miles from South America to the Arctic each year. Scientific and medical communities have discovered that the crab also provides an indispensable testing agent for drugs and vaccines, as well as resources for human optics and burn treatment. But horseshoe crab numbers are plummeting from their new use as bait for the fishing industry, dropping by two-thirds since 1990. The precious pyramid depending on this age-old creature is about to come crashing down.
Why We Love Cats and Dogs
Sunday, May 23rd at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Ask people and they immediately know — they’re either a dog person or a cat person. What is this all about? This film launches an in-depth investigation into the great divide between dogs and cats and just what draws people to these two polarizing pets. Animal behaviorists, psychologists, trainers and devoted owners all weigh in. Dogs, we find, are geniuses at reading what we want. And the complex cat-human bond can be as fickle or as deep as a marriage. Funny, touching and provocative, NATURE asks how well we really know our best friends and why we love them so much.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wnet/nature.