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Sex In The Wild

Airs Wednesdays, July 1 - 22, 2015 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Veterinarian Mark Evans and a baby elephant.

Credit: Courtesy of PBS

Above: Veterinarian Mark Evans and a baby elephant.

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of PBS

Anatomist Joy Reidenberg and veterinarian Mark Evans hanging around with an orangutan.


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"Elephants" repeats Wed., July 1 at 11 p.m. - Joy and Mark travel to Africa to explore the unique reproduction challenges of the largest animal on land — the elephant. Find out how females select the strongest mates, why elephants have the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom and how they safely deliver a 220-pound baby; witness the remarkable first steps of a newborn calf.

"Orangutans" repeats Wed., July 8 at 11 p.m. - Joy and Mark travel to Borneo to explore the reproduction challenges of our close cousin — the orangutan. The largest tree dwellers on the planet, orangutans mate, give birth and raise their young high in the jungle canopy. At an orangutan sanctuary in the rainforest, Mark and Joy come face-to-face with a super-male and uncover the latest scientific theories about how these kings exert their power over other males and seduce females in their territory. Joy witnesses the sneaky tactics that the females use to take control of mating and Mark finds out how males fight back. The lengthy period dedicated to raising one child is critical to the success of orangutans and all the other great apes — including us.

"Kangaroos" repeats Wed., July 15 at 11 p.m. - In Australia, Joy and Mark uncover the reproductive secrets of some of the strangest mammals on Earth — the pouch-wearing marsupials. Thanks to their bizarre way of reproducing, kangaroos thrive in one of the most unpredictable, drought-prone environments on Earth — the Australian Outback. In Queensland’s eucalyptus forests, he sees how tree-living marsupials—koalas— have mastered gravity-defying sex. At a kangaroo sanctuary, Joy witnesses a tiny newborn’s first steps as it crawls to the pouch, and in Adelaide, she learns how endangered rock wallabies are being saved using foster mothers. During a kangaroo dissection, she learns what makes marsupial reproductive anatomy unique.

"Dolphins" repeats Wed., July 22 at 11 p.m. - Joy and Mark investigate the reproductive secrets of marine mammals to learn how animals that breathe air manage to mate, give birth and raise their young underwater. Joy travels to New Zealand to uncover the mating strategy of dusky dolphins. While she reveals the adaptations marine mammals have evolved to mate in the ocean, Mark travels to Mexico to find out how whales find mates in the ocean vastness. Witness a dolphin birth, explore the difficulties of breastfeeding underwater and learn how dolphin and whale young avoid predatory killer whales.

SEX IN THE WILD was produced by Windfall Films.

SEX IN THE WILD: Elephants - Preview

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.

SEX IN THE WILD: Orangutans - Preview

Journey to Borneo with Joy and Mark to explore the reproduction challenges of our orangutan cousins.

SEX IN THE WILD: Kangaroos - Preview

Join Joy and Mark in Australia to uncover the reproductive secrets of the pouch-wearing marsupials.

SEX IN THE WILD: Dr. Joy Interview

Dr. Joy Reidenberg, comparative anatomist and host, discusses the importance of examining the reproductive behaviors for animals featured in the new series, SEX IN THE WILD.

SEX IN THE WILD: Series Preview

Examine the reproductive behaviors and biology of elephants, orangutans, kangaroos and dolphins.

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