The Polar Bear
First Broadcast: 2.25AM Wed 13 November 2013

The team join Inuit hunters and scientists studying polar bears off the coast of Greenland. Polar bears have become a symbol of climate change as their habitat is threatened. And, at the top of the food chain, they are especially vulnerable to physiological side effects from man-made pollutants.

Scientists have been monitoring the levels of toxic chemicals found in polar bears for over a decade. There are early signs of changes to their reproductive organs and neurological damage.

The scientists collect blood and fresh tissue samples and collaborate with local people, who are permitted to hunt a small quota of bears. The hunting is strictly controlled, using traditional methods and avoiding mothers with cubs.

The Inside Nature's Giants experts join the expedition to carry out an anatomical dissection to explore some of the mysteries of the polar bear.

Veterinary scientist Mark Evans is upset by his first encounter with a freshly-hunted polar bear.

Comparative anatomist Professor Joy Reidenberg is astonished by the thickness of the polar bear's fur and even more surprised to discover that while its skin is black and its fur translucent, the polar bear still appears white.

The programme asks how they cope with such a high-fat diet of seal blubber without risking heart failure. And, out on the ice, Simon Watt crawls inside a recently evacuated polar bear den and traces their remarkable evolutionary story.

As their habitat melts and their food becomes increasingly contaminated, the polar bears' future looks precarious. Can they adapt fast enough to survive this rapidly changing world?

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    1. Inside Nature's Giants The Polar Bear Wed 13 Nov 2013

      The team join Inuit hunters and scientists studying polar bears off the coast of Greenland. Polar bears have become a…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
    2. Jungle Special: Inside Nature's Giants Jungle Special Mon 23 Apr 2012

      The team take on their hardest challenge so far, to dissect an entire ecosystem - the jungle. Deep in the rainforest of…

      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Ants This video is a clip Ants Video duration: 2:02 minutes

        The team take on their hardest challenge so far, to dissect an entire ecosystem - the jungle
    3. Inside Nature's Giants The Kangaroo Mon 16 Apr 2012

      The Australian Outback is home to millions of kangaroos but, sadly, every year thousands are fatally injured in traffic…

      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Kangaroo This video is a clip Kangaroo Video duration: 1:09 minutes

        Veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg examine a kangaroo
    4. Inside Nature's Giants The Hippo Mon 9 Apr 2012

      So many hippos congregate to feed in Zambia's Luangwa Valley that they threaten the survival of other species in the…

      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Inside Nature's Giants: Hippo - Open 4 This video is a clip Inside Nature's Giants: Hippo - Open 4 Video duration: 0:38 minutes

        Inside Nature's Giants: Hippo - Open 4 clip
    5. Rogue Baboon: An Inside Nature's Giants Special Rogue Baboon Tue 10 Jan 2012

      Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg travel to South Africa to dissect the first primate on Inside Nature's Giants: a huge…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Gunshot Survivor This video is a clip Gunshot Survivor Video duration: 1:28 minutes

        After years raiding human spaces, baboon leader Fred's body retains many remnants of human defence in the form of shotgun pellets
      2. Baboon Raid This video is a clip Baboon Raid Video duration: 1:32 minutes

        The baboons rampage through Cape Town
        • WARNING This clip contains scenes of strong violence
    6. Inside_ Natures_Giants_Racehorse The Racehorse Tue 20 Sep 2011

      The thoroughbred racehorse is one of the greatest athletes on the planet, galloping with incredible speed and stamina…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. The Racehorse This video is a clip The Racehorse Video duration: 1:22 minutes

        The thoroughbred racehorse is one of the greatest athletes
      2. Horse Power This video is a clip Horse Power Video duration: 1:52 minutes

        The Racehorse - naturally built to run
    7. Leatherback Turtle The Leatherback Turtle Tue 13 Sep 2011

      The team travel to Florida to dissect the ocean's largest reptile - the leatherback turtle. They uncover the…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Turtle Rescue This video is a clip Turtle Rescue Video duration: 1:39 minutes

        Floridian's take the Turtle's life in their hands
    8. Cassowary The Dinosaur Bird Tue 6 Sep 2011

      The Bafta-winning series returns to Australia on the trail of a bird that's been described as a living dinosaur. The…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
      clips
      1. Call of the Cassowary This video is a clip Call of the Cassowary Video duration: 1:54 minutes

        Mark Evans listens to the booming baritone of the dinosaur bird
    9. Inside Nature's Giants The Camel Tue 30 Aug 2011

      The team head deep into the Australian outback to explore the ultimate desert survivor.

      • Scenes of killing and dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.
    10. Sperm Whale: Inside Nature's Giants Special The Sperm Whale Sun 7 Aug 2011

      The BAFTA-winning team battle through the night against a rising tide to explore the mysteries of the largest predator…

      • Scenes of animal dissection
      • This episode has subtitles available.

Inside Nature's Giants on Channel4.com

See more about Inside Nature's Giants

The award-winning series that gets under the skin of the largest animals on the planet, exploring their anatomy to reveal how these creatures really work

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