Mammals dominate the planet. They do it through having warm blood and by the care they lavish on their young. Weeks of filming in the bitter Antarctic winter reveal how a mother Weddell seal wears her teeth down keeping open a hole in the ice so she can catch fish for her pup. A powered hot air balloon produces stunning images of millions of migrating bats as they converge on fruiting trees in Zambia. Slow-motion cameras reveal how a mother rufous sengi exhausts a chasing lizard. A gyroscopically stabilised camera moves alongside migrating caribou, and a diving team swim among the planet's biggest fight as male humpback whales battle for a female.
The Elephant Shrew
Once known as the elephant shrew, the rufous sengi is permanently hungry and must hunt and feed industriously and efficiently in order to fuel its frenzied lifestyle. For maximum efficiency, the sengi creates an intricate netweork of pathways through the undergrowth that enable it to reach prey more easily. The sengi carries a mental map of these pathways, and should trouble appear, its speed and intimate knowledge of escape routes help it win the day. As an enemy, such as a lizard, appears, the sengi leaps into action and shoots off down the trails at high speed. Like most mammals - and unlike reptiles - the sengi's legs are directly underneath the body which makes for greater speed and agility. This female not only outruns the reptile, but outwits him and it's just as well, as she has a youngster to care for.