David Attenborough on the Tree of Life

There’s a beautiful, albeit animal-centric, video on the evolutionary ‘tree of life’ narrated by David Attenborough and produced by the BBC. I’ll embed the HD version below, but you can also go to the ‘Tree of Life’ website to find more.


According to the site’s blog, they’ve attempted to address the absence of discussions of plants in the interactive version of the tree:

We’ve already had some feedback about the lack of plants in the interactive tree. The key point is that what we’ve put up for now is pretty much the interactive version of the film. We used the same tools and data structures to build both. Obviously the film has its own narrative structure and logic, but the choice of species might make less sense when on its own in the interactive. This is the situation at launch but it will not be the case in the future.

The irony of a ‘tree’ without sufficient mention of plants is a bit rich, but it’s well worth a look. It’s a beautiful little animation and Attenborough’s voice makes me want to drink port and sit by the fireside, even though it’s about 90 degrees here and we haven’t seen rain in what feels like months…

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gregdowney

Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, I have gone on to do fieldwork in Brazil and the United States, and look forward to a new project in New Zealand. I have written one book, Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art (Oxford, 2005). I have also co-edited several books, including, with Dr. Daniel Lende, The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology (MIT, 2012), and with Dr. Melissa Fisher, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke, 2006). My research interests include psychological anthropology, sport, dance, human rights, neuroscience, phenomenology, economic anthropology, and just about anything else that catches my attention.

One thought on “David Attenborough on the Tree of Life

  1. “…Attenborough’s voice makes me want to drink port and sit by the fireside, even though it’s about 90 degrees here and we haven’t seen rain in what feels like months…”

    How about sitting under a gum tree watching the leaves shimmer in the breeze. Or sitting on the beach in the late afternoon as the white caps dance across ocean.

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