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Tall & Tiny – Nature’s Extremes

Synopsis

Tremendously tall – or ridiculously small: nature never ceases to surprise us. In Africa, we meet the largest birds in the world, ostriches, so massive they can’t even fly; and our planet’s tallest mammals, giraffes, that can stretch their necks to reach leaves up to seven metres high in the treetops.

Borneo turns out to be the home of some unexpected record-breakers, too: under our planet’s largest tropical trees, the smallest bears frolick, and pygmy elephants roam Asia’s largest island. And not only do we encounter the biggest variety of pitcher plants, we find some rather ingenious ones who’ve taken up co-living (and co-killing!) with a species of ants.

The smallest creatures often rely on power in numbers. When termites join forces in their thousands, they can defend their nests against invaders many times larger themselves – but may get overrun by even smaller enemies when distracted.

Earth’s largest animal can be just as hard to see as some of the smallest, because it is so rare. The blue whale is a record-breaking size – nearly thirty metres in length – and a record-breaking weight – up to 170 tons, making it an awe-inspiring sight to behold for those lucky enough to see one.

But even a blue whale is still nothing in size when compared to Earth’s largest structure, created by living organisms: the Great Barrier Reef.

Meet the big and the tiny in this round-the-world-tour of massive proportions!