Human Planet: Jungles Part 1 (HD)

Uploaded by baselmansour on 20.12.2011

Only one creature has carved a life for itself in every habitat on Earth.
That creature is us.
All over the world we still use our ingenuity to survive in the wild places,
far from the city lights, face to face with raw nature.
This is the Human Planet.
The jungle is nature at its most vigorous, complex and mysterious.
It may appear bountiful,
but for humans, this is a surprisingly hostile environment.
Though, through history, great civilisations have arisen here,
none have stood the test of time.
The jungle refuses to be tamed
and it punishes those who don't live by its laws.
Yet even today, there are some who guard the secrets
of surviving in this wild world.
These are the remarkable stories
of the people who call the rainforest home.
Tropical rainforests coverjust 2% of the planet's surface...
...but they're home to half of all species on Earth.
The problem is, much of this life is in the tree-tops,
a world way out of our reach.
Exploiting the canopy's riches from the forest floor is so challenging,
getting enough protein is a daily struggle.
Matis of Brazil are highly skilled hunters
but for the past week there's been barely enough meat to go round.
Benin is hungry and he's determined today's hunt will be more successful.
Administering tree-frog toxin into his bloodstream purges his body,
preparing it for action.
The Matis also drop a noxious plant juice into their eyes
to sharpen their senses and focus their minds on the hunt.
Benin and the others summon the power of the animal spirits.
Hunting canopy animals from the ground
requires formidable fire power...
...a four-metre long blowpipe,
precision-made to a design honed over thousands
of years.
Spotting animals in the dense vegetation is so hard
the Matis rely on hearing to locate prey...
...and use mimicry to lure them into range.
They can imitate all ten species of monkey found in these forests.
A howler monkey responds.
30 metres up, monkeys are feeding in a fig tree.
Scoring the darts with piranha teeth
ensures the poisoned tip breaks off in the victim's body.
Unlike guns, blowpipes are near silent
and can be fired without spooking the monkeys.
Benin makes the first hit, and now the monkeys scatter.
Once shot, the monkeys must be tracked
as the curare-vine poison takes effect.
This monkey's already weak, but it's hiding, and must be flushed out.
They shoot again.
But it's stuck in a vine now, and there's no choice but to go and get it.
One down, but it's just the beginning.
As one of the swiftest hunters,
it's Benin's job to pick off any escaping monkeys.
He shoots another, but misses.
Benin fires again, this time on target.
The monkey finally stops...
...and Benin takes aim one last time.
Eight monkeys. It's been a good day.
But all too often they return empty-handed.
Hunting in the canopy is so difficult,
people must find most of their food closer to the ground.
But scratching a living on the forest floor is hardly any easier.
The complex nature of this mysterious world is so hard to master,
the lessons have to start early.
Orlando's from the Piaroa tribe of Venezuela.
He's like any other kid,
only life in the jungle has already forced him to fend for himself.
But this childhood adventure takes them deep into the jungle underworld.
As only 2% of sunlight reaches the forest floor,
surprisingly few plants grow and this means few animals.
There's less protein here than in the desert...
and much that is here is poisonous.
Distinguishing dinner from danger is an essential life skill.
Few creatures have a more sinister reputation than the one they seek.
The goliath tarantula, the size of a dinner plate,
the largest spider in the world.
It's hard to imagine a less appetising meal,
but picky eaters don't last long in the jungle.
Besides, Orlando says they're delicious,
and handling dangerous animals comes with the territory.
From about five years old,
Piaroa children know exactly where to hunt for spiders...
...and in a couple of hours can catch enough for a decent meal.
But they have to be careful of both the huge fangs
and of the hairs they kick towards any attacker.
If they contact the skin or are inhaled, they cause a nasty reaction.
Orlando's come off worst.
But growing up in the jungle, he's used to a little discomfort.
Tarantulas are best served toasted, like marshmallows.
All the hairs must be singed off so they don't catch in the throat.
And when they start squeaking,
which is just air escaping from the joints, they're almost done.
Tarantulas taste a bit like crab
and, with a little seasoning, they go down a treat.
Orlando's and his friends'survival
depends upon embracing every opportunity in the forest
Jungle people rely so heavily on their surroundings,
they become a natural part of the forest
and form extraordinary bonds with nature.
Very few people live more intimately with animals than the Awa Guaja
of the eastern Amazon.
Nurturing a wide range of creatures from the forest,
the Awa are obsessive pet keepers.
And there are some animals they cherish above any others.
Like the Matis, hunting monkeys is vital to the Awa's survival,
providing nearly half their protein.
But this relationship provides far more than food.