biology

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New Science on WETA TV26 | How We Got To Now

How We Got To Now with Steven Johnson celebrates the history and power of great ideas on WETA TV26 & HD Wednesday nights! The six-part series is hosted by the popular American science author and media theorist Steven Johnson. Ever wonder “how do we make something cold?” or “how do we create light?” Johnson surprises viewers that these very questions have lead to other discoveries seemingly unrelated. Tracking ancient and contemporary history, Johnson shares the fantastic minds and radical revolutions that changed the world and the way we live in it.

“Clean” airs Wednesday October 15, 2014 at 9pm
How our battle against dirt created the sidewalk, the swimming pool, the flat screen, and the iPhone.

“Time” airs Wednesday October 15, 2014 at 10pm
How our journey to calculate time helped create international trade and travel, victory for the North in the Civil War, GPS, and understanding of the origins of human life.

“Glass” airs Wednesday October 22, 2014 at 10pm
How our quest to see better helped us see the world differently, whether right in front of our noses with the birth of eyeglasses or far beyond our visible universe with the creation of the telescope.

“Light” airs Wednesday October 29, 2014 at 10pm
How our quest to harness light changed our genetic make-up, gave birth to Times Square, Las Vegas, video downloads, and an artificial sun.

“Cold” airs Wednesday November 5, 2014 at 10pm
How our mastery of “cold on demand” helped give birth to at least four million babies, created the golden age of Hollywood, and unlocked the secrets of the universe.

“Sound” airs Wednesday November 12, 2014 at 10pm
How the journey to harness sound created the modern world of instant communication, but also helped put thousands of planes in the sky, changed the face of warfare, and created a new way for teenagers to rebel.


 

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Wild Kratts: Swamp Things! | New Episodes on WETA Kids

Next week on WETA Kids, catch the premiere of Wild Kratts: Swamp Things!, FIVE brand-new swamp-tastic episodes set in Flordia’s Everglades and Cypress Swamp. Continue reading for descriptions, air dates, and sneak peeks of the episodes!

"Slider, the Otter" premieres Tuesday July 22 at 8am
Also airs Tuesday July 22 at 6pm, Thursday July 24 at 8:30am & 6:30pm, Saturday July 26 at 7:30pm
The Wild Kratts discover a lost otter cub. Assuming he is lost, the bros attempt to find his family, while introducing him to life in the Cypress Swamp of Florida.

"Search for the Florida Panther" premieres Wednesday July 23 at 8am
Also airs Wednesday July 23 at 6pm, Saturday July 26 at 6:30pm, Monday July 28 at 8am & 6pm

When the Wild Kratts Team gets an alert from a Wild Kratts kid that an injured endangered Florida Panther was just spotted off the Alligator Alley highway, the team springs into rescue mode.

"Opossum in My Pocket" premieres Thursday July 24 at 8am
Also airs Thursday July 24 at 6pm, Saturday July 26 at 7pm, Tuesday July 29 at 8am & 6pm

While on a mission to find Chris’ night vision goggles lost in the Cypress swamp, the brothers discover a marsupial opossum with a similar problem.

"Mosquito Dragon" Premieres Friday July 25 at 8am
Also airs Friday July 25 at 6pm, Saturday July 26 at 6pm

When Koki and Jimmy get walloped by mosquitoes in the Cypress Swamp, Aviva, Martin and Chris go on a fact-finding adventure to find out exactly why mosquitoes try to steal our blood in the first place!

"Crocogator Contest" Premieres Friday July 25 at 8:30am
Also airs Friday July 25 at 6:30pm, Saturday July 26 at 5:30pm

A pop Creature Quiz challenge question about what the differences are between a crocodile and an alligator turns into a full-blown Crocogator contest to find out why these two very similar creatures are different at all.  


 

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WETA TV26 Wildlife Wednesdays

Beginning Wednesday July 16, 2014 on WETA TV26 & HD, enjoy wildlife like you’ve never seen it before! Introducing two new PBS wildlife programs: My Wild Affair and Sex in the Wild and reintroducing NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years. Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Wednesdays from 8-11pm for these exciting natural history shows. Read on for more information on each upcoming episode and when to watch!

My Wild Affair airs Wednesdays at 8pm

In this four part series, hear extraordinary stories of the bonds between humans and their animal companions.
Part 1 “The Elephant Who Found a Mom” airs on July 16 at 8pm
Discover the intense bond between Aisha, a baby elephant orphan, and Daphne Sheldrick, the woman who became her human foster parent. Daphne uses the lessons learned from Aisha’s life to help her save more than 150 orphans over the next 40 years.
Part 2 “The Ape Who Went to College” airs on July 23 at 8pm
Hear the incredible story of Chantek, the orangutan raised as a human child on an American university campus during the 70s and 80s. Taught to speak in sign language, he is now living among his own kind at Zoo Atlanta, although he describes himself as an “orangutan person.”
Part 3 “The Rhino Who Joined the Family” airs on July 30 at 8pm
Rupert is an orphaned black rhinoceros was brought up in the suburban family home of wildlife veterinarian Dr. John Condy. Rupert captured the hearts of the vet’s four young children before his eventual release into the wild. Fifty years later, the children are searching for clues to their childhood friend’s fate.
Part 4 “The Seal Who Came Home” airs on August 6 at 8pm
Witness the true story of Andre, a two-day-old wild harbor seal who, in 1961, was rescued from certain death by arborist Harry Goodridge. Over the next 25 years, Andre and Harry established a friendship that brought Andre into the world of humans without Andre’s ever having to sacrifice his wildness.

NOVA: Australia's First 4 Billion Years airs Wednesdays at 9pm

Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. This four part NOVA miniseries, hosted by geologist Richard Smith, takes viewers on a fabulous adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today.
Part 1 “Awakening” airs on July 16 at 9pm
First stop in this road trip through time is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where we encounter the Earth shortly after its fiery birth. It’s a violent, poisonous planet, but not all is what it first seems.
Part 2 “Life Explodes” airs on July 23 at 9pm
Meet Planet Earth’s forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores, and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant-life across the face of a barren continent. Revolution continued underwater as well, with armor-plated fish experimenting with teeth, jaws, sex and lungs.
Part 3 “Monsters” airs on July 30 at 9pm
Come face to face with the previously unknown reptilian rulers of prehistoric Australia. But reptiles didn’t have the world all to themselves. Mammals like the enigmatic platypus lived alongside them, ready for their moment in the sun. And 65 million years ago, they saw that day arrive.
Part 4 “Strange Creatures: airs on August 6 at 9pm
In the wake of the catastrophe—the asteroid impact 65 million years ago believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs--Australia was set adrift on a lonely voyage in southern seas. This is a tale of calamity and conquest; how a conspiracy of climate, biology and geology shaped the Earth we now call home.

Sex in the Wild airs Wednesdays at 10pm

This four-part series, presented by anatomist Joy Reidenberg and veterinarian Mark Evans, examines the reproductive behaviors and biology of four species — elephants, orangutans, kangaroos and dolphins — and takes an in-depth look at how these animals find and woo the opposite sex. It also explores how they mate, give birth and raise their young in extreme environments.
Part 1 “Elephants” airs on July 16 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans follow Kiti, a pregnant female elephant, through the birth of her baby. In addition, Evans travels with a group attempting to control the elephant population (and learns how to produce a bull elephant sperm sample) while also maintaining genetic diversity, through chemical birth control as Botswana copes with increasing numbers of animals.
Part 2 “Kangaroos” airs on July 23 at 10pm
The scientists chronicle the birth of a kangaroo joey and its development. The episode explores koala conservation efforts in Brisbane that use artificial insemination to boost the numbers of koala babies. Reidenberg visits a pioneering breeding program at the University of Adelaide to learn more about preservation efforts to save the extremely endangered southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby in South Australia.
Part 3 “Orangutans” airs on July 30 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans travel to an orangutan sanctuary deep in the rainforest of Borneo to explore the reproduction challenges of one of humans’ closest cousins — the orangutan. The team examines how the alpha male “kings” exert their power over other males and seduce females in their territory. Devoting a lengthy seven years to raising a single orangutan baby is key to the success of the species — similar to humans.
Part 4 “Dolphins” airs on August 6 at 10pm
In this episode, Reidenberg travels to New Zealand to uncover the mating strategies and anatomies of dusky dolphins, who form mating groups that leap from the water in perfect unison. In a high-speed chase, males pursue females and rapidly mate with them — in just two seconds. Viewers can witness a dolphin birth and learn the difficulties of breastfeeding underwater.


 

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Animal Wednesdays in April | NEW Nature, NOVA, Your Inner Fish

Every Wednesday in April on WETA TV26 & HD is Animal Night! Beginning this Wednesday April 9, deepen your understanding of animals with new episodes of Nature, NOVA, and a new series Your Inner Fish (and Reptile, and Monkey).

Nature: My Bionic Pet - Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 8pm
Learn about a unique way of helping animals in this new Nature episode. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, animals are getting a second chance at a normal life thanks to engineering and technology advancements. From a pig with a wheelchair to an alligator with a prosthetic tail, meet inspiring animals and the remarkable individuals whose work has helped them live their lives again.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds - Three Part Series
We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: What is it thinking about? What does it know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this three-part series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through the eyes of three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius - Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 9pm

Crows bend and shape sticks to create custom-made spears for hunting grubs, and they are just one among a growing list of bird species whose impressive problem-solving abilities are shocking scientists and revolutionizing our understanding of animal intelligence. NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet’s brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses - Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 9pm
A few animals like electrically-sensitive sharks have extra senses humans don’t have at all. From a dog who seems to use smell to tell time, to a dolphin who can “see” with his ears, viewers will discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Who’s The Smartest? - Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 9pm
Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures—including humans—seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants, and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter. NOVA investigates whether dolphins have a sense of self and can recognize themselves as individuals.

Your Inner... - Three Part Series
Your Inner Fish – Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 10pm

Our arms, legs, necks and lungs were bequeathed to us by a fish that lumbered onto land some 375 million years ago. The genetic legacy of this creature can be seen today in our own DNA, including the genes used to build the quintessentially human feature, our hands.

Your Inner Reptile – Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 10pm
Key events in our evolutionary saga began about 250 million years ago, when ferocious, reptile-like animals that roamed the Earth started the process of evolving into shrew-like mammals. Our reptilian ancestors left their mark on many parts of the human body, including our skin, teeth and ears.

Your Inner Monkey – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10pm
Our primate progenitors had bodies a lot like those of modern monkeys and spent tens of millions of years living in trees. From them we inherited our versatile hands, amazing vision and capable brains — but also some less beneficial traits, including our bad backs and terrible sense of smell.


 

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Travel to Outer Space with New Science Shows on WETA TV26

This Wednesday, November 20 beginning at 8:00 pm, tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD for three new science programs that are out of this world!

NOVA: At the Edge of Space at 8:00 pm
High above Earth where our atmosphere meets space bursts of energy called sprites elude the human eye. Images of these bursts are nearly impossible to capture because sprites exist for barely a split-second. In the new epsiode At the Edge of Space, NOVA and NASA team up in an effort to explore the Earth-space boundary and capture these elusive phenomena on camera. Discover what mysterious objects lurk in the abyss through eye-catching footage shot from the International Space Station and never-before-seen 3D images.

NOVA: Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday? at 9:00 pm

Sized from the width of a football field, to the size of a small city, asteroids are killer rocks on a collision course with Earth. There are millions of these space rocks in the solar system but we have only just begun to understand their resource potential. A large asteroid could end life on Earth but entrepreneurs see asteroids and think payday, not doomsday. Asteroids can be loaded with billions of dollars’ worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum. Will these space rocks turn out to be our economic saviors, or cause our extinction? NOVA explores these questions and more in Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday? Watch a preview!

Comet Encounter at 10:00 pm
Comets have fascinated and terrified humans for thousands of years. As we speak, a comet the size of Manhattan is hurtling towards the sun. In Comet Encounter, scientists around the world follow this once-in-a-lifetime event, tracing the comet’s trajectory from just beyond Jupiter all the way to the sun. These scientists predict that as the comet races past Earth, it will light up the night skies brighter than a full moon, giving us the space show of the century! Through imagery that is out of this world, Comet Encounter brings you a show you can’t see at the Planetarium. Watch a preview!


 

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New PBS Nature Episode | Parrot Confidential on WETA TV26

Nature: Parrot Confidential airs Wednesday November 13 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD!

With their high level of intelligence and amazing ability to communicate in any language, parrots have become one a popular pet throughout the world. Although millions of parrots share human homes, these animals have not been domesticated making life in captivity difficult. In the wild, parrots can survive for up to 80 years and by nature have a powerful need to bond. Unfortunately, the average parrot owner keeps them for only 2-4 years. With animal shelters struggling to house large numbers of unwanted birds, what happens to these animals when there's no more room? In this new PBS Nature episode, explore the difficulties of raising parrots and hear heartbreaking tales of those abandoned by their human owners. Join the most watched documentary film series on public television in examining the bittersweet relationship between parrots and humans in Parrot Confidential.

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Brains on Trial With Alan Alda | New Science Show

What if you had the ability to read someone’s mind? Most people would probably call you psychic assuming that you have some supernatural connection. But what if reading minds was explained and could be done through neuroscience? Neuroscience is the field of study that pertains to various elements of the nervous system, which includes but is not limited to its structure, development, and function. Alan Alda goes on an exploration to tie the knot between neuroscience and the criminal justice system. Could this be the key to unlocking the truth? What if we could determine every fact and could rule out speculation? The two part series, Brains on Trial, allows viewers to catch every minute of the post-crime scenario process. Neuroscientists engage Alda on the surprising evidence that may appear on MRIs and other brain scanning techniques.

Brains on Trial airs Wednesdays at 10pm on WETA TV26 & HD beginning September 11.

Watch part 1: Determining Guilt Wednesday September 11 at 10pm.

Watch part 2: Deciding Punishment Wednesday September 18 at 10pm.

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WETA Kids Block Party | Wild Kratts: Reptile Week

We’re halfway through August and the summer heat is still going strong, so take a break and relax with The WETA Kids Block Party! If there’s anyone who knows how to handle hot weather, its reptiles, so learn a lesson from the masters with Wild Kratts Reptile Week Monday August 19 - Friday August 23, learn about an entirely different reptilian creature each day at 5pm with NEW episodes! On top of that, Saturdays we have a WETA Kids Block Party, 5 episodes of Wild Kratts back to back from 5:30pm to 8pm!

Wild Kratts features The Kratt Brothers, Chris and Martin Kratt, who go on rescue missions to save animals from dangerous situations. Whether it’s villains, natural disasters, or unfortunate accidents, nothing can stop the Kratts in their pursuit to protect the wildlife! Along the way, you’ll learn a lot about these creatures and how you can help them out too!

 

Here are the Wild Kratts Reptile Week episodes and air dates:

Rattlesnake Crystal   NEW!
Airs Monday, August 19 at 5pm on WETA Kids & Saturday, August 24 at 5:30pm
When the Kratt Brothers’ ship, The Tortuga, is forced to land in an unknown habitat, the Kratt Brothers are forced to search for rare tellurium crystals in order to repair their ship! In order to do this, they must utilize the rattlesnake’s amazing infrared vision skills to save the day!

Gila Monster Under My House  NEW!
Airs Tuesday, August 20 at 5pm on WETA Kids & Saturday, August 24 at 6pm
When a loose Gila monster is discovered underneath a house in the wild, the Kratt Brothers are called in to help out! As the brothers show how amazing the Gila monster’s natural abilities are, the villainous Zach decides to use the Gila monster for his own nefarious purposes.

Tortuga Tune-Up  NEW!
Airs Wednesday, August 21 at 5pm on WETA Kids & Saturday, August 24 at 6:30pm
It’s time for the Tortuga to receive an aquatic upgrade, but the brothers need to find an inspiration that will allow them to bring their ship to the bottom of the ocean! After they seek out a sea turtle, they get to witness how well they move through the sea and fight off natural predators!

Road Runner  NEW!
Airs Thursday, August 22 at 5pm on WETA Kids & Saturday, August 24 at 7pm
When the brothers fail to catch and identify a mysterious lizard, they decide to turn to the roadrunner for help! Utilizing the roadrunner’s amazing speed, they take turns running wild through the desert at the blink of an eye. But will this speed be enough for them to catch their mystery lizard?

Mom of a Croc
Airs Friday, August 23 at 5pm on WETA Kids & Saturday, August 24 at 7:30pm

In order to show the less scary side of crocodiles, the brothers infiltrate a crocodile nest to learn more about their natural habitat! They discover many things about their lifestyle and natural heat transferring abilities, which allows them to convince others that crocodiles are much more than meets the eye!

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New PBS Nature Episodes in May | Private Life of Deer & Great Zebra Exodus

Whether in our own backyard or across the plains of Africa, four-legged creatures have learned to co-exist with humans or migrate to safer pastures. In the new episodes of PBS’ Nature this month, we will explore The Private Life of Deer on Wednesday the 8th and The Great Zebra Exodus on Wednesday the 15th.

 

The Private Life of Deer

The Washington, D.C. area is home to many Whitetailed deer, which enjoy eating our gardens, hopping into oncoming traffic, and slipping into the woods of our local parks. In the past century, the deer population has increased from less than a million to almost 30 million as of today. In an effort to document this ever increasing species, footage was acquired in unique ways throughout the country. In one segment, residents of Cayuga Heights, NY were given video equipment to document populations in their area, while in another segment; small cameras were strapped to the backs to wild deer. The footage acquired provides unprecedented insight into the lives of our furry neighbors. Watch the trailer!

Nature: The Private Life of Deer airs Wednesday, May 8 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Also Airs Thursday, May 9 at 2:00pm.

 

The Great Zebra Exodus

Traveling with family can be complicated, especially when it seems like everyone’s moving in a different direction. But can you imagine voyaging with 20,000 of your closest kin? Follow the story of one zebra family, a stallion, his three mares and their offspring, traveling with the herd in Southern Africa’s biggest animal migration. Taking place every year across the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi Pans, this trek to grass and water tests the social bonds that hold zebra families together. Watch the trailer!

Nature: The Great Zebra Exodus airs Wednesday, May 15 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Also Airs Thursday, May 16 at 2:00pm.

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Brand New NOVA | Australia: First 4 Billion Years

We’re taking summer vacation a little early with a trip to the ocean deep, the red hills, and the hot sun of Australia! We invite you to join us on this educational and breathtaking journey to the land where the formation of Earth itself began in the four part mini-series from NOVA: Australia: First 4 Billion Years. Scientists share some of the earliest life that inhabited the planet from giant kangaroos to deadly reptiles, and prehistoric crustaceans. See you Wednesdays at 9:00pm on WETA!    

Read the full article to watch trailers of the series!

 

Australia is most recognized for its unusual creatures and outback terrain but it is also home to some of the oldest remains of early life known to Earth. Awakening, part one, starts in Western Australia where scientists take a look at how the planet was transformed.  NOVA and host Richard Smith take us on a journey through the Land Down Under where we get acquainted with a bacterial slime that inhabited the continent and could be one of the earliest life forms known to the planet.
Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Awakening airs April 10 at 8:00pm & April 11 at 3:00pm. 
 
In this episode of Australia’s First 4 Billion Years, host Richard Smith uncovers how creatures traveled from the ocean floor to dry land. Ancient fossils unveil how these prehistoric animals took over a once lifeless land and brought it alive. Armor-plated fish and invading arthropods were just a few of the unusual ocean dwellers that journeyed to the shorelines in order to help change the face of the Earth.  But not all creatures can live peacefully together.  Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Life Explodes airs April 17 at 9:00pm & April 18 at 3:00pm.
 
Over 250 million years ago, Australia was a host for some of the largest and most perilous creatures to roam the planet.  In episode three, MonstersRichard Smith brings viewers up-close and personal with some of these prehistoric creatures in order to reveal why they were considered the monsters of their time. Kronosaurus was an aquatic creature that received its name from the greek god Kronos and had a skull twice as long as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, making it a top predator.  Scientists also reveal that these ancient reptiles were in fact not alone; mammals such as the duckbilled platypus shared the land as well. 
Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Monsters airs April 24 at 9:00pm & April 25 at 3:00pm.
 
In the final episode of this series, NOVA and host Richard Smith uncover the true ancestors of Australia.  Smith reveals the last 65 million years that formed the Land Down Under into the lone but wildlife filled continent it is today.  Before humans and the formation of the Great Barrier Reef, strange creatures such as giant kangaroos, massive koalas and oversized wombats once roamed the land.  With their dominant size, these large marsupials truly exemplify the origin of Australia.  Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures May 1 at 9:00pm & May 2 at 3:00pm.
 
  
 

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