NatureInvasion of the Pythons at 7 pm
Florida’s Everglades National Park is one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States, home to numerous unique and endangered mammals, trees, plants, birds and turtles, as well as half a million alligators. However, the Everglades is also the dumping ground for many animal invaders over 15 species of parrot, 75 kinds of fish and 30 different reptiles from places as far away as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Add to the mix tens of thousands of giant pythons, snakes that can grow to 20 feet and weigh nearly 300 pounds, some released into the wild by irresponsible pet owners, some escapees from almost 200 wildlife facilities destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The predatory pythons slithered into this protected wilderness and thrived, and the refuge has consequently become less of a haven and more of a killing ground every day since then.
NOVAExtreme Cave Diving at 8 pm
Follow the charismatic Dr. Kenny Broad as he dives into Blue Holes — underwater caves that formed during the last ice age when sea level was nearly 400 feet below what it is today. They are Earth’s least explored and perhaps most dangerous frontiers. With an interdisciplinary team of climatologists, paleontologists and anthropologists, Broad investigates the hidden history of Earth’s climate as revealed by finds in this spectacularly beautiful “alternate universe.”
NatureHumingbirds: 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.
Wednesdays are Science Night on KLRU! This week, we’ve got two recent favorites to thank you for watching and supporting your community-supported public television station.
NOVAEarth From Space at 7 pm
This film reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate web of forces that sustains life on earth.
Eat, Fast And Live Longer With Michael Mosley at 9:30 pm
Michael Mosley has set himself a truly ambitious goal: he wants to live longer, stay younger and lose weight. But he wants to make as few changes to his life as possible along the way. And he thinks he’s found the answer — the ancient idea of fasting.
NatureThe Himalayas at 7 pm
The Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to the world’s highest peaks. NATURE explores the diversity of wildlife and habitats of this mountain chain starring the mysterious snow leopard.
NOVA Manhunt: Boston Bombers at 8 pm
How did investigators transform the chaos of the Boston Marathon bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers? Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology — combined with old-fashioned detective work — played in cracking the case.
NOVAOklahoma’s Killer Tornadoes at 9 pm
“Oklahoma’s Killer Tornadoes,” will update the previous NOVA episode “Deadliest Tornadoes” with new information about the May 20, 2013 tornado that swept through Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas, and will highlight the new radar system put in place to track tornadoes since the program originally premiered.
NatureThe White Lions at 7 pm
This is the story of two remarkable and extremely rare white lion cubs on their journey to adulthood. Both are female, sisters born as white as snow in May 2009, in South Africa’s Kruger Park. Growing up on the savanna, they must not only overcome the same survival challenges that all young lion cubs must face, they must also overcome the threats their high visibility brings.
NOVAHunt for the Supertwister at 8 pm
“Hunt for the Supertwister” includes a segment on the 1999 tornado in Moore, OK, the site of this week’s destruction.
Secrets of the DeadAirmen And The Headhunters at 9 pm
This program investigates a fantastic WWII tale of jungle ambushes, extreme engineering, blow darts defenses, and enemy headhunting. In 1945, an American B24 bomber is shot down over Japanese — controlled Borneo. The airmen bail out and survive, only to find themselves isolated and lost in the impenetrable jungle. Briefed to fear the “savage” Dayak inhabitants, the Americans are instead taken in by these tribes and become witness to a compassionate, resourceful people who shatter stereotypes, protect them from the Japanese, and eventually deliver them safely into the hands of an eccentric British Major who orchestrates their rescue by building a bamboo runway deep in the Borneo interior.
NatureGreat Zebra Exodus at 7 pm
When thunderclouds begin to gather over Botswana’s Kalahari each year, 20 000 zebras begin an ancient journey, as southern Africa’s biggest animal migration gets underway. In a never-ending quest for grass and water, the striped herds make their epic trek across the vast otherworldly landscape of the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi Pans, through prides of lions, and past families of meerkats, taking on the desert salt pans in their own way. The story of this spectacular annual migration is told through the eyes of zebra stallions, their mares, and their young, revealing the trials and triumphs and the fascinating social bonds that hold zebra families together.
NOVADecoding Neanderthals at 8 pm
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome—an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago—but their analysis showed that “we” modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In “Decoding Neanderthals,” NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery.
Secrets of the DeadCavemen Cold Case at 9 pm
A tomb of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered in El Sidron, a remote, mountainous region of northern Spain, leads to a compelling investigation to solve a double mystery: How did this group of Neanderthals die? And could the fate of this group help explain Neanderthal extinction? Scientists examine the bones and discover signs that tell a shocking story of how this group may have met their deaths. Some bones bear distinct signs of cannibalism. Was it a result of ritual or hunger? Neanderthal experts are adamant that they were not bloodthirsty brutes. What happened here 49,000 years ago will take viewers on a much bigger journey – from El Sidron to the other end of the Iberian Peninsula, where scientists are excavating beneath the seas off Gibraltar in search of Neanderthal sites.
NatureThe Private Life Of Deer at 7 pm
From our kitchen windows we spot them, nibbling away at our gardens and shrubs. They wander along our highways, reminders of the wilderness we have paved our way through. From coast to coast some 30 matillion white-tailed deer make their home in the United States. But once they retreat from our view, where do they go? What secrets do they carry back into the forest, away from our prying eyes? Deer are among the most highly-studied mammals in the world; but does any typical homeowner with deer in the yard know how long a deer can live? When they sleep? How many babies a doe can have each year? Working with scientists, special camera equipment, and deer experts and devotees of every kind, NATURE reveals the hidden world of white-tailed deer in a whole new light.
NOVAVenom: Nature’s Killer at 8 pm
Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extreme toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work? NOVA reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature’s most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Venom follows scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet’s most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature’s deadliest cocktails could be medicine’s brightest new hope.
Secrets of the DeadDeath On The Railroad at 9 pm
Death On The Railroad is a classic story involving foul play, cover ups, a murder mystery and a voyage of discovery to understand what happened to a group of Irish men who came to America for a better life but found only misery. In 1832, railroad contractor, Philip Duffy, hired 57 Irish immigrants to lay railroad tracks in West Chester, Pennsylvania. But, less than two months after their arrival, all 57 were dead. Did they all die – as was widely believed – due to a cholera pandemic? Or, were some of them murdered? In 2003, twin brothers discovered a secret file among their grandfather’s papers that led them to investigate the deaths of these men and find the location of their final resting place in a valley now known as Duffy’s Cut. Using the latest forensic and scientific investigative techniques, DNA, forensic analysis, facial reconstruction and historical detective work in Ireland and the USA, modern detectives and experts will unravel this extraordinary story.
Nature Legendary White Stallions at 7 pm
This story of the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions focuses on the bond that develops between the horses and their caregivers, beginning at the moment of their birth and culminating in the perfect harmony between horse and rider demonstrated at the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. Their carefully choreographed movements were originally developed for the training of war horses; only the strongest and most athletic horses qualified. The Lipizzaner stallion is bred for its courage, strength and character, but the horse is also gentle, sensitive, and exceptionally responsive to praise.
NovaAustralia’s First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures at 8 pm
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA’s mini-series takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. This is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all.
Secrets of the DeadBugging Hitler’s Soldiers at 9 pm
Spied upon by MI19 in a bugging operation of unprecedented scale and cunning, 4,000 German POW’s revealed their inner thoughts about the Third Reich and let slip military secrets that helped the Allies win WWII. Based on groundbreaking research conducted by a team of leading German historians and scientists, the film will tell the story of how those confessions were stolen, how they changed the outcome of the war and how they can now reveal, in more shocking detail than ever before, the hearts and minds of the German fighter. The evidence that supports this extraordinary new chapter in the history of WWII will be told through powerful dramatic reconstructions.
Nature “Jungle Eagle“ at 7 pm
Harpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the world. Standing three feet tall, with a six-foot wingspan and razor-sharp talons the size of bear claws, these birds are the heavyweight hunters of the South American rainforest. Enter the secret world of the harpy.
NOVA “Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Monsters“ at 8 pm
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA’s mini-series takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids.
Nature “Kangaroo Mob“ at 9 pm
Meet the mob of street smart kangaroos moving into Australia’s capital city and the ecologists following their every move. Over the course of one drought-stricken year we follow mob leader, Black Spot, and kangaroo mother, Madge, with her two young joeys — mischievous Sonny and tiny pouch-bound Alice. Here is a look at what happens when human development encroaches on wildlife habitat and two very different species are forced to co-exist.