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PRIMATES On NATURE

Stream or tune in Wednesdays, Nov. 4 - 18, 2020 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sundays, Nov. 8 - 22 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2

Orangutan (<em>Pongo abelii</em>) infants are highly dependent on their mothe...

Credit: Courtesy of Paul Williams, ©BBC

Above: Orangutan (Pongo abelii) infants are highly dependent on their mothers, having the longest childhood of any wild primate. Orangutans are now only found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

Visit 17 countries to uncover the mysteries of countless species, including gorillas, orangutans, lemurs, macaques and more!

Welcome to the planet of the apes. Primates are called the highest order of animal on the planet. With their big brains, they are smart and adaptable; they use tools, self-medicate, hunt and swim. They are social and political, form hierarchies and friendships and can be very mischievous.

Get to know the many species of primates, from the familiar chimpanzee and gorilla, to the more obscure species like the owl monkey, the tamarin, the barbary macaque and many more in the three-part miniseries PRIMATES On NATURE.

Preview of Primates: Episode 1 "Secrets of Survival"

Monkey see, monkey do. From baboons facing down leopards, to lemurs exploiting a jungle pharmacy or rhesus macaques charming their way to an easy life, discover the survival strategies used by primates, often in the most unexpected places. Airing: 11/04/20

Take The Primate Quiz

Between gorillas, lemurs, orangutans and Japanese macaques, which primate do you most closely identify with? Take our short, multiple-choice quiz!

Filmed across the globe over two years on 28 filming expeditions, from snow-capped mountains to the hottest deserts, PRIMATES combines family drama with the latest science. Uncover primates’ complex relationship dynamics, how they learn to hunt and feed, their courtship rituals and more.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Gavin Boyland, ©BBC

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gorillas are highly social, living in groups of around 10 individuals on average. The silverback is a powerful guardian who rules over his family group.

Discover the unexpected reason a silverback father chooses not to engage in gorilla warfare, watch macaques go bananas in pursuit of food in populated areas, and learn why “King of the Swingers” is a gibbon title.

Alpha Gorilla is Dad of the Year

Silverback mountain gorillas have a fearsome reputation with aggression that helps maintain family order. However, not everyone shows this gorilla troop leader the respect he deserves. Airing: 11/04/20

Advances in technology allowed the team behind PRIMATES to film several extremely rare or never-before-seen moments, including one of the first images of the bald uakari and the recently discovered Tapanuli orangutan.

New Orangutan Species Filmed for First Time

Watch the first moving images of a Tapanuli orangutan mother and her infant. When the Tapanuli orangutan was named in 2017, it became the newest, and in the same moment, most endangered great ape on Earth. Airing: 11/11/20

In Equatorial Guinea, one team spent more than two months camped on a remote beach to capture the most intimate images ever seen of a drill, one of the world’s least understood primates.

In Sri Lanka, another crew captured the very first low-light color images of the elusive gray slender loris at night in the wild.

In Malaysia, experience the lar gibbons’ canopy world from their perspective — a filmmaking first.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Amy Downes, ©BBC

A young Lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) in Malaysia. A gibbon’s fast-paced movement is called “brachiation” and allows them to move at extraordinary speed across large ranges.

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1: “Secrets Of Survival” airs Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sunday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Monkey see, monkey do. From baboons facing down leopards, to lemurs exploiting a jungle pharmacy or rhesus macaques charming their way to an easy life, discover the survival strategies used by primates, often in the most unexpected places.

Bearded capuchins, counted among the smartest animals in the world, teach their young how to use tools in Brazil’s badlands. A silverback gorilla gives in to his softer side to raise his boisterous offspring in the Congo basin. Bush babies conduct an after-hours raid of a city zoo to find food in the South African winter.

Lemurs' Jungle Pharmacy

Like many primates, lemurs are prone to ticks and other parasites. In addition to grooming each other, this group has developed a more ingenious means of keeping pests at bay: self-medication. Airing: 11/04/20

Episode 2: “ Family Matters” airs Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sunday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Family is everything for primates. They have the most complex social lives of any animal group on the planet. Meet devoted monkey dads, playmate apes and tender troops.

Preview of Primates: Episode 2 "Family Matters"

Family is everything for primates. They have the most complex social lives of any animal group on the planet. Meet devoted monkeys’ uncles, playmate apes and tender troops. Airing: 11/11/20

Dusky leaf monkeys compete to babysit a bright orange infant and rally to defend him from a python. Gibbons learn treetop acrobatics with their playmates. In Sri Lanka, a single gray slender loris mother takes care of her twins— the most intimate video ever captured of the species. In the Amazon, an elder female spider monkey leads her troop to a unique food resource.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Paul Williams, ©BBC

Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) spend their lives high up in the canopy of rainforests in South America. They have the perfect adaptation for tree-top life: a muscular tail which acts as an extra limb.

See the first moving images of a Tapanuli orangutan mother and her infant, discovered to be a new species in 2017!

Photo credit: Courtesy of Lindsay McCrae, ©BBC

When the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) was named as a new species in 2017, it became both the newest and the most endangered great ape on Earth. This orangutan infant is one of only 800 thought to exist.

Episode 3: “Protecting Primates” airs Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2 - More than half of the world’s primates are under threat. Meet the scientists making ground-breaking discoveries to safeguard their future.

Preview of Primates: Episode 3 "Protecting Primates"

More than half of the world’s primates are under threat. Meet the scientists making groundbreaking discoveries to safeguard their future. Airing: 11/18/20

In Malaysia, conservationists are building bridges to help dusky langurs cross busy roads. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rangers face danger while trying to protect mountain gorillas.

Conservationists in Borneo help prepare orangutan orphans for life in the wild. Two ecologists team up to locate some of Madagascar’s most elusive lemurs, and one renowned primatologist becomes the first person to see every type of primate that exists.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Victoria Buckley, ©BBC

Dr. Signe Preuschoft (far right) and her team of local caregivers in Borneo are passionate about rehabilitating orphaned baby orangutans.

Citizen Science

Observe and record light pollution to help protect nocturnal animals with Globe at Night from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). Learn more!

Watch On Your Schedule:

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Macaque Cons Squirrel Into a Free Meal

In southern India, monsoon rains bring on jackfruit season, but macaques have a difficult time identifying ripe fruit. So they follow a "friend" who not-so-willingly leads them to the good stuff. Airing: 11/04/20

Join The Conversation:

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter. #NaturePBS

Credits:

NATURE is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer; Bill Murphy is series producer and Janet Hess; and Danielle Steinberg is Digital Content & Strategy Lead. A BBC Studios production for PBS and BBC with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC. Produced and directed by Nikki Waldron, Nick Easton and Victoria Buckley. Gavin Boyland is Series Producer and Michael Gunton is Executive Producer for BBC Studios. Nyambi Nyambi is narrator.

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