The Sound Of Life

Aubrey Manning sets out to discover why the natural world sounds the way it does in a series that will explore some of the most beautiful and intriguing animal sounds.


01First Sounds2004072620040921

Frogs, elephants, owls, whales, dolphins, garden birds and many more make appearances over the coming weeks, but Aubrey starts by digging back into prehistory to find the first animal ever to communicate with sound.

What did it look like, what did it sound like, and what did it say?

02Making Yourself Heard2004080220040928

Aubrey Manning investigates why the natural world sounds the way it does in a series exploring some of the most beautiful and intriguing animal noises.

03The Art Of Listening2004080920041005

Aubrey Manning does his best to hear like a barn owl and hunt using his ears, and learns how eavesdropping amongst garden birds is at the heart of their family lives.

04Beyond Our Senses2004081620041012

Elephants, bats, nightingales and humpback whales - Aubrey Manning reveals secret sound worlds beyond our senses?

05The Underwater Chorus2004082320041019

Throughout our history, the world's oceans have held a fascination for us; at first glimpse a seemingly vast, silent, blackness stretching out across the earth's surface.

But, as Professor Aubrey Manning discovers when he eavesdrops on whistling dolphins, crooning whales, tapping walrus and a remarkable chorus of fish, the world beneath the waves is far from silent.

Sound is even more important for communication underwater than it is on land or in the air.

06The Meaning Of Sound2004083020041026

Professor Aubrey Manning journeys through a cacophony of notes, from simple cries to complex songs, as he explores the meaning of sound. His journey takes him from the reed beds of Sweden to the plains of Amboselli as he listens to great reed warblers and elephants. He discovers what a complex song tells a female about a prospective mate; how in human language there's more to meaning than just getting the words in the right order; and how knowing your alarm calls could be the key to survival in the natural world.

07Soundings From The Future2004090620041102

If there is one thing that has transformed the sound of the planet more than any other in the last century, it is the increasing levels of sound created by human technology (from air and road traffic to shipping and underwater geological surveys). In this programme, Professor Aubrey Manning explores the consequences of this increasing level of 'noise pollution' on animal communication, and examines whether man-made noise is drowning out the natural song of the earth.

08 LASTSong Of Earth2004091320041109

In this final programme, Professor Aubrey Manning introduces a celebration of the song of the earth, visiting some of the acoustic hotspots around the world and eavesdropping on some of the earth's most evocative sounds. This is a journey through a day in the sound of the planet, a symphony celebrating the Sound of Life.