Friday, July 6, 2012

Inside Nature's Giants

Inside Nature's Giants is a British science documentary telecast by Channel 4. The documentary shows experts performing dissection on some of nature's largest animals. I was not sure whether to watch it because  dissections are not the prettiest sights in the world. I don't have the stomach to watch all the blood and gore. Even in nature documentaries I watch with fascination say, a cheetah chasing a gazelle but often look away at the climax of nature red in tooth and claw. As Sam Keen says in the foreword to The Denial of Death:
Mother Nature is a brutal bitch, red in tooth and claw, who destroys what she creates.  We live, he says, in a creation in which the routine activity for organisms is "tearing others apart with teeth of all types -  biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones  between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one's own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses the residue. 
But when I did start watching the programs, I didn't get the feeling of revulsion that I had expected. There were some yucky scenes but that can't be avoided in a dissection.  The episodes are on Elephant, fin Whale, Crocodile, Giraffe, Great White Shark, Big Cats, Giant Squid, Polar Bear, Camel, Leatherback Turtle, cassowary, python, sperm whale, kangaroo, hippo, baboon, racehorse  and a jungle special. It was especially fascinating watching the dissection of the laryngeal nerve in giraffe.

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