Nature (Season 37) – Super Cats, A NATURE Miniseries

Air date: 10/24/2018

Prowl with the World’s Top Predators in Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries

Nature Season 37 premieres with three-part miniseries Wednesdays, October 24-November 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS

Stalking in the shadows, prowling almost every continent, cats are one of the world’s most diverse and successful predators. But there is far more to these charismatic and misunderstood animals than most people recognize. Filmed over 600 days in 14 countries and featuring 31 species of cat, this groundbreaking three-part miniseries narrated by F. Murray Abraham uncovers the secret lives of big cats and introduces behaviors captured on film for the first time, using the latest camera technology and scientific research. Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries premieres nationwide Wednesdays, October 24-November 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Each episode will be available to stream the following day at pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps.

From the solitary bachelor snow leopard in the Himalayas, to the elusive swamp tiger of South Asia, to a remarkably efficient Californian bobcat that is blind in one eye, Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries reveals how cats survive and thrive in all four corners of the globe. Nature uncovers their social sides, their complex communication, devoted parental care, courtship rituals, hunting patterns and more.

Advances in technology allowed for several on-camera firsts, including the nocturnal pursuits of a tiny but deadly black-footed cat in South Africa who hunts more in one night than a leopard does in six months. Remote cameras capture exclusive intimate moments between a mother Pallas’ cat and her kittens. Low-light technology exposes a true rarity: a puma preying on Magellanic penguins, one of the few successful hunts ever caught on film. A swamp tiger takes a bath in the sea — a phenomenon previously unseen on television.

“Many of the cats filmed for this series are brand new to the Nature audience,” said Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman. “The lengths these filmmakers went to get never-before-seen footage of some of the world’s most elusive creatures makes this a truly exciting start to our 37th season.”

Episode 1, “Extreme Lives,” premieres Wednesday, October 24 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Available to stream Thursday, October 25 on pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps

Meet the planet’s ultimate cats. Cheetahs are renowned as the fastest animal on land, but the latest scientific research suggests that speed isn’t actually their greatest weapon. In Sri Lanka, a tiny rusty spotted cat explores his forest home. A male snow leopard, perhaps the world’s most lonesome cat, searches for a mate in the Himalayas. The Canada lynx lives farther north than any cat, relying on snowshoe hares to survive the bitterly cold winters. An African leopard mother fights to raise her cub in the worst drought in decades. In Tanzania, lions form super prides in order to hunt giant prey.

Episode 2, “Cats in Every Corner,” premieres Wednesday, October 31 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Available to stream Thursday, November 1 on pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps

Discover how cats have conquered the world, thriving in almost every landscape on Earth. In the wetlands of Asia, fishing cats have adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. In the world’s oldest desert, Africa’s youngest lion pride survives against the odds. A military-grade thermal camera in Costa Rica peers into the dark to find a pregnant jaguar waiting for turtles on a tropical beach. High in the forest of Central America, a female margay leaps from tree to tree, slow-motion footage revealing her acrobatic skills. In California a bobcat, blind in one eye, seizes an opportunity to hunt gulls on a secluded beach. At low tide in the Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh, a rarely seen swamp tiger emerges from the mangrove forest to patrol his shorelines. Then there’s Africa’s black-footed cat, the smallest and deadliest of all.

Episode 3, “Science and Secrets,” premieres Wednesday, November 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Available to stream Thursday, November 8 on pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps

Scientists are studying cats in greater detail than ever before. New approaches and technologies help uncover some of the cats’ most intimate secrets, including the cheetah’s remarkable gymnastic abilities and why lions are able to hunt so cooperatively. Conservationists are fighting to protect the most endangered species around the globe, such as the Iberian lynx, once considered the rarest cat on the planet.

Now in its 37th season on PBS, Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries is a BBC Studios Production for PBS and BBC with THIRTEEN Productions LLC, co-produced by France Télévisions. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer and Bill Murphy is series producer. For BBC, Mike Gunton is executive producer and Gavin Boyland is series producer. The miniseries is narrated by F. Murray Abraham.

Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Anderson Family Fund, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sandra Atlas Bass, the Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, the Anne Ray Foundation, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.

Websites:
pbs.org/nature, facebook.com/PBSNature, @PBSNature, instagram.com/pbsnature, pbsnature.tumblr.com, youtube.com/naturepbs, #SuperCatsPBS

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 About WNET
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 About BBC

The BBC has an unrivalled global reputation for the factual content it produces across arts, history, documentaries and natural history, and broadcasts some 7,000 hours of high-quality, distinctive factual programs a year on television. The BBC is recognized as an industry leader in terms of innovation, consistently pushing the boundaries of its productions, delivered to our audience by the most engaging and inspirational experts.

 

Photos
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Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), Canada. Canada lynx are the most northerly cats - a record they share with their Eurasian cousins. Thick fur, and huge snowshoe-like feet help them deal with arctic conditions and keep up with their equally specialist prey. © BBC/Ryan Durack.

Lion (Panthera leo). Lions are the only cat to live in groups. In numbers they find the strength and audacity to hunt the most formidable prey. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Leopard (Panthera pardus), Africa & Asia. From the deserts of Southern Africa, to the Boreal forests of Russia to the bustling suburbs of Mumbai in India, leopards thrive in more environments than any other wild cat. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Namibia. Cheetahs are not just the fastest cats but the fastest animals on land, too. The latest research is beginning to reveal that it is their extraordinary maneuverability that really gives them their killer edge. © BBC.

A caracal (Caracal caracal), Namibia. Their long powerful legs enable them to leap as high as 10 feet and hunt birds on the wing. © BBC/Anna Place.

An ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), a small and superbly camouflaged cat that thrives in the forests of Central America. Lightweight and agile, they can climb high up into the trees. © BBC/Paul Williams.

A serval (Leptailurus serval), South Africa. Proportionally, servals have the longest ears and legs of any cat, and are adapted to detect and leap for prey amongst tall savanna grass. The world’s densest population of these small cats have made their home in a secure wasteland that surrounds Africa’s biggest industrial complex. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes). They hunt amongst the short desert scrub in the Karoo of South Africa. They are Africa’s smallest cat, and the deadliest of the entire cat family - with a 60 percent hunting success rate. Anything that moves is a potential meal, from locusts to birds to gerbils. © BBC/Paul Williams.

A swamp tiger (Panthera tigris) bathes in seawater in the Sundarbans of India. These unexplored muddy mangroves are home to around 100 of these legendary big cats, but only at low tide might one emerge from the depths of the forest to patrol the beach around his island territory. © BBC/Paul Williams.

A fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and kitten, hunting for fish, Bangladesh. They are suited to a life in the monsoon wetlands. Beneath a long outer coat they have a short layer of insulating fur that acts like a wetsuit - and they have partially webbed feet. © BBC/Paul Williams.

A jaguar (Panthera onca), Central America. The biggest cat in the Americas. For their size, they have the strongest bite of any cat. On the coast of Costa Rica, they leave the jungle to hunt turtles on a beach. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) thrive in the remote grasslands of the Mongolian steppe. They are perfectly adapted to hide in this open landscape - they have a wide head, low ears, and can flatten their bodies to look like a rock when hunting. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Desert lions (Panthera leo) live in small isolated prides and roam huge territories, relying on shared knowledge to find food in the harsh Namib desert. These three cubs were orphaned at barely a year old. They survive against the odds as the desert's youngest and most inexperienced pride. © BBC/Will Steenkamp.

A jaguar (Panthera onca), Costa Rica - image from a thermal camera. A jaguar has learned to hunt turtles on a pacific beach. For their size, they have the strongest jaws of any cat - powerful enough to break into a turtle's shell to feed on the rich source of food. © BBC.

Conservationist Kevin Richardson has immersed himself in a pride of lions (Panthera leo), giving a unique perspective on their behavior. © BBC/Stuart Dunn.

In order to study the sprinting abilities of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), Professor Alan Wilson built his own plane from scratch just to keep up with the world’s fastest land animals. © BBC/Stuart Dunn.

A young mountain lion cub (Puma concolor) is fitted with a GPS collar so scientists can follow its early life. Over time her striking blue eyes will darken. © BBC/Anna Place.

Dr. Natalia Borrego works with lion whisperer Kevin Richardson to carry out IQ tests. She believes that they are smartest of all the cats. © BBC.

An urban leopard cub (Panthera pardus) drinks from a backyard pond. One of the largest cities on the planet, Mumbai is also home to the densest population of leopards. © BBC.

Tigers (Panthera tigris) are the biggest of all the cats - from the giant Siberian tigers that roam the frozen boreal forest of Russia, to the secretive swamp tigers of the Indian Sundarbans that bathe in seawater and patrol muddy shores. In the early 20th century, 100,000 tigers reigned across Asia and Europe, but today there are fewer than 4,000 in the wild. © BBC.

A snow leopard (Panthera uncia), Indian Himalayas. The ‘Ghost of the Himalaya' is the world’s highest living and most lonesome cat. They live in huge territories, where food is scarce and finding a mate is even harder. © BBC/Ben Cranke.

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), Namibia. Cheetahs are not just the fastest cats but the fastest animals on land, too. The latest research is beginning to reveal that it is their extraordinary manoeuvrability that really gives them the killer edge. © BBC/Andy Nancollis.

Leopard (Panthera pardus), Namibia. Leopards thrive in more environments than any other wild cat but that does not mean life is easy. Leopard mothers must leave their vulnerable young cubs if they are to hunt successfully. © BBC/Tom Walker.

Rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus), Sri Lanka. This miniature predator is the world’s smallest cat… so small that they are happy dining on bugs. © BBC/Vimukthi Weeratunga.

Pumas (Puma concolor) are the widest ranging mammal in the Americas, thanks to extraordinary adaptability and an eye for opportunity. They even stalk the most unlikely of prey – penguins. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Puma cubs (Puma concolor). Puma, mountain lion, cougar: these are all names for the same cat. In fact, they hold the Guinness World Record for more names than other animal, perhaps thanks to their extraordinary range, from the North to the South of the Americas. © BBC/Steven Metildi.

Margay (Leopardus wiedii), Central America. Margay are the tree-climbing experts of the cat world. They will never get stuck in a tree; their ankles can rotate 180 degrees, allowing them to walk down vertically. © BBC/Paul Williams.

Jaguar (Panthera onca), South/Central America. Jaguars are the largest cat in the Americas and have a bite to match. For their size, it's the strongest of any cat, allowing them to dispatch monstrous prey such as caiman crocodiles. © BBC/Paul Williams.