Chris Packham's BBC Two documentary Animal Einsteins: What you need to know

Lisa Walden
·3-min read
Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC
Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC

From Country Living

Chris Packham will shine a light on some of the most ingenious animals on the planet in a new exciting six-part BBC Two series, which will air on Sunday 21st February.

Titled Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins, the documentary will see the Winterwatch presenter use science, experiments and the help of experts to explore the skills animals harness in the daily battle for survival.

What is Animal Einsteins about?

Each episode will see Chris hone in on some of the most cunning creatures, communicators, builders, social networkers, con artists and travellers of the animal kingdom by researching animal behaviours. From bees to apes and beetles, the series puts the spotlight on the intelligence of the animal kingdom and the ingenuity it takes to survive.

Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC
Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC

In the short 22-second YouTube advert, you can see Chris up close with the savvy creatures. One clip sees him stand amazed as a magpie manages to remove a piece of string from an enclosed box, while another sees a chimpanzee playing with a complex computer game.

"I'm thrilled that we've been able to bring Animal Einsteins to fruition despite the challenges of a global pandemic, and can't wait for audiences to see this extraordinary side to the animal kingdom. It's a really eye opening series, packed full of incredible wildlife and scientific discovery," Rosemary Edwards, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Natural History Unit, said.

More on Chris Packham:


What can we expect to see from Animal Einsteins?

Speaking about what viewers can expect from the new show, Chris said: "There's quite a lot of wow moments, there are stories here which are going to stop people in their tracks and get them to completely re-think the way that they probably consider other animals' intelligence.

"One of the key things here is that there are a few stories that we've touched on before and that we've updated, but nevertheless there's a generous dose of up to date science. Given the advances in technology that we have, this has led our scientists to have a wide range of access to understand the species behaviour."

Photo credit: BBC/Anup Shah/NPL
Photo credit: BBC/Anup Shah/NPL

What was the most unusual thing Chris Packham saw when filming Animal Einsteins?

Speaking to What To Watch, Chris said that it was the mourning cuttlefish which had the most unusual technique. "They make half of their body look like a female so they can sneak past another male and it is just unbelievably cheeky," the Winterwatch presenter explained.

Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC
Photo credit: Lucy Bowden/BBC

"I mean, we all like a con artist, I think we all like the idea of tricks, we are drawn to card tricks and magicians — and magicians have been going for thousands of years and we still watch them now — but when you look at that cuttlefish, looking half like a female so it can sneak in, and the male thinks 'oh this is a bonus I've got two females' — but the minute it's under there, the male side attracts the female and they get to mate, and it’s so sneaky and so brilliant that they have the capacity to change their colouration to mimic the opposite sex, for me that was just joyous, absolutely joyous."

Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins will premiere on BBC Two on Sunday 21st February 2021.

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