Inside Nature’s Giants: Big Cats
Airs Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Originally published February 6, 2012 at 12:01 p.m., updated August 24, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.
A team of experts dissect the largest animals on the planet to uncover their evolutionary secrets in INSIDE NATURE'S GIANTS. In each episode, veterinary scientist Mark Evans, comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg, biologist Simon Watt and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explore the anatomy of a distinct giant predator to reveal how it works.
"Big Cats" - The experts dissect a lion and a tiger. From the outside, the two look very different, but once their skins are removed, even the experts find it hard to tell them apart. Biologist Simon Watt comes face to face with a liger — a cross between a lion and a tiger — proof of the two species’ similarity.
One of the most characteristic features of these magnificent animals — something that distinguishes them from the small cats — is their ability to roar. The team delves into the lion’s throat to find the voicebox and makes a discovery that helps explain the way the vocal apparatus works.
Richard Dawkins explains the evolutionary arms race between predators and their prey in the struggle to survive. Finally, the experts try to find out why male lions have a distinctive mane.