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BBC – The Velvet Claw (1992) 2of7 Sharpening the Tooth

The Velvet Claw 2of7 Sharpening the Tooth

From tiny weasels to big cats and bears, this series follows the sometimes surprising evolution of the Carnivora – the mammals that eat meat. Using computer graphic techniques and full colour animation to bring to life long-extinct lineages, it journeys from the carnivore’s roots at the end of the dinosaur era right up to the present day.

Part 1: The Carnassial Connection
Introductory programme of a seven part series, exploring the evolution of the carnivores as a successful and highly diverse mammalian group.

Part 2: Sharpening the Tooth
Explores the many different members of the cat family and their rise over 40 million years to represent a powerful group of predators within the Carnivora.

Part 3: Strength in Numbers
Looks at the evolution of the dog family, how as generalists and through group predation they have filled a successful niche within the Carnivora.

Part 4: The Rich Man’s Table
Follows the evolution of the hyaenas within the Carnivora, reveals how they have successfully exploited scavenging strategies, to supplement hunting.

Part 5: Jacks of All Trades
The rise of bears and racoons in the carnivora, exhibit the most diverse feeding patterns of the group, predators->scavenging omnivores->specialist herbivores

Part 6: Small and Deadly
The weasel family – fast, ferociously skilful killers. This is the story of how one family of carnivores opted for smallness as a positive advantage.

Part 7: It’s Tough at the Top
Looks at the development of top carnivores and asks are they really masters of their world or longterm losers? The winners are the small carnivores.

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