Science Night 12/12

Nature “Revealing The Leopard” 7 pm
Leopards are the ultimate cat. They are the ultimate cat. They are the most feline, the most intelligent, the most dangerous, and, until recently, one of the least understood. Leopards hunt from South Africa to Siberia, from Arabia to Sri Lanka, and are the most widespread predator of their size on land. A leopard is a cat that walks by itself, unseen, secretively. They are the beautiful killers that live in the shadows. This film accumulates the evidence and puts together a psychological profile of this extraordinarily cunning cat. We learn how these cats rarely move without a completely premeditated strategy.

Nova “Secrets of Stonehenge” at 8 pm
Every year, a million visitors are drawn to the Salisbury Plain, in southern England, to gaze upon a mysterious circle of stones. Stonehenge may be the best-known and most mysterious relic of prehistory. During the 20th century, excavations revealed that the structure was built in stages and that it dates back some 5,000 years, to the late Stone Age. The meaning of the monument, however, was anyone’s guess — until recently. Now investigations inside and around Stonehenge have kicked off a dramatic new era of discovery and debate. Who built Stonehenge? What was its purpose? How did prehistoric people quarry, transport, sculpt and erect the giant stones? A new generation of researchers is tackling these questions, finding important clues in the landscape surrounding Stonehenge — one of the densest concentrations of prehistoric structures in the world. The story of Stonehenge is being rewritten.

Secrets of the Dead “China’s Terracotta Warriors” at 9 pm
The extraordinary story of China’s 8,000 terracotta warriors begins two centuries before the birth of Christ. The First Emperor of China was preparing an extravagant tomb for his journey into the afterlife, and decreed that he be protected forever by a monumental army. But how was a terracotta army of this size made in less than two years using the technology of 2200 years ago? Led by archaeologist Agnes Hsu, the investigation shows that the Chinese may have used assembly lines to produce the 8,000-strong terracotta army. After the revelation of what the army really looked like when it was buried, archaeologists use biometric analysis to find out if these clay soldiers were individually modeled on living men.