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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Life on Earth: Life in the Trees

Life on Earth: Life in the Trees  (1979)

David Attenborough with mountain gorillas on location for Life on Earth

The penultimate installment of the BBC's natural history blockbuster Life on Earth, Life in the Trees offers an intriguing exploration of the primate world. Examining species in Madagascar, Japan and Africa, David Attenborough discusses how their ancestors sought their fortunes in the treetops.

An unparalleled educational show, the series was made by renowned producer Chris Parsons and was seen by an estimated 500 million people around the world. In this twelfth episode, Attenborough delves into the behaviour and evolution of these intriguing mammals, exploring their bifocal vision and the increased manipulation their gripping hands offer. Featuring an extraordinary array of primate behaviour, lemurs are seen sparring as Japanese macaques wash their food, and squirrel monkeys unleash their piercing calls.

In the midst of all this action comes Attenborough's legendary encounter with a family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Filmed by award-winning cameraman Martin Saunders, this unforgettable moment was recently voted in the top three animal encounters of all time, in a poll to mark the intrepid naturalist's eightieth birthday.

Beautifully filmed, Life in the Trees is an informative and in-depth look at our mammalian relatives, offering an incredible insight into their history and development.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
Woodlands
80 Wood Lane
London
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2
Email: motiongallery.uk@bbc.co.uk
Website: http://www.bbcmotiongallery.com

Film credits

Additional Photography: Maurice Fisher
Additional Photography: Chris Fryman
Additional Photography: Herman Rijksen
Assistant Film Editor: Alec Brown
Assistant Producer: Mike Salisbury
Executive Producer: Christopher Parsons
Film Editor: Ron Martin
Graphic Design: Bob English
Music Composer: Edward Williams
Music Conductor: Marcus Dods
Photography: Martin Saunders
Photography: Maurice Tibbles
Presenter: David Attenborough
Producer: John Sparks
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Sound: Lyndon Bird
Sound: Peter Copeland

Related links

Life on Earth: The Infinite Variety (1979)
David Attenborough
Christopher Parsons
Martin Saunders
Clips
A life clambering about in trees
A life clambering about in trees
David Attenborough’s legendary encounter with a family of mountain gorillas
David Attenborough’s legendary encounter...
Macaques wash their sweet potatoes
Macaques wash their sweet potatoes
Stills
David Attenborough with mountain gorillas on location for Life on Earth
David Attenborough with mountain gorillas...
Martin Saunders filming mountain gorillas for Life on Earth: Life in the Trees
Martin Saunders filming mountain gorillas...
Martin Saunders filming gorillas for Life on Earth
Martin Saunders filming gorillas for Life...
David Attenborough with mountain gorillas during filming for Life on Earth
David Attenborough with mountain gorillas...