Science Night 6/12

Nature Humingbirds: Magic in the Air at 7 pm
Hummingbirds represent one of nature’s most interesting paradoxes — they are the tiniest of birds, yet they qualify as some of the toughest and most energetic creatures on the planet. New knowledge gained from scientists currently making great breakthroughs in hummingbird biology makes this a perfect time to focus on these shimmering, flashing jewels of the natural world. Stunningly beautiful high-definition, high speed footage of hummingbirds in the wild combined with high-tech presentations of their remarkable abilities help us to understand the world of hummingbirds as we never have before.

NOVA Ape Genius at 8 pm
The great apes – which include chimps, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos – seem to have rich emotional lives similar to our own. But just how smart are these animals? A new generation of investigators is revealing the secret mental lives of great apes; our evolutionary next-of-kin are turning out to be far smarter than most experts ever imagined. But just as clever experiments are exposing the extraordinary abilities of great apes, new research is redefining the mental talents of our own species. Scientists are at last zeroing in on what separates us from our closest living relatives.

Battle For The Elephants at 9 pm
What is it about elephants that pull us in, that evoke an almost immediate sympathy? Is it that family is so important to them? That they take care of their young? That they play? Or is it that they are simply so big, smart and powerful? Whatever the allure, elephants are popular. And yet, in 2012, the world witnessed the greatest slaughter of elephants since an international ban on the ivory trade was first put in place in 1989. Now, National Geographic follows five people, each of whom is waging a battle for the elephant. Their stories reveal that this is an epic tale of supply and demand, of passion and profit, of love and loss, themes borne out in the quests of our five main characters and the many others whose paths they cross.