Segments in this Video

Ice Age Adaptations (02:40)


Humans were not always the dominant species on Earth; other mammals were better adapted for survival. In Britain around 12,000 B.C., hunter-gatherers learned to trap small animals and harness fire to protect against wolves and process food.

Domesticating Dogs (01:31)

Around 15,000 years ago, wolves overcame their natural fear to feed on human food scraps. The two species formed a hunting alliance. Americans spend over $30 billion on their pets annually.

Livestock (01:52)

In Europe in 5000 B.C., humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Domesticating sheep, goats, and pigs gave us power over life. Selective breeding increased docility and provided a ready food source.

Domesticating Horses (03:32)

Horses multiplied human strength and speed, and provided an advantage in war. Genghis Khan commanded a cavalry of 50,000 Mongols attacking China in 1215 A.D. Learn about the role of horses in Mongolian culture and empire building.

Domesticating Camels (02:45)

On the Arabian Peninsula in 610 A.D., camels allowed humans to cross deserts on trade routes. They can drink 40 gallons of water, which lasts them 17 days. Learn about their role in the spread of Islam.

Silk Road (03:06)

The silk worm spins a protein fiber into a continuous thread stronger than steel. Silk was worth its weight in gold to the Romans in 166 A.D. Production remained a Chinese state secret for centuries, but the two empires engaged in trade.

Animals and Disease (03:06)

Domesticating livestock exposed humans to more pathogens. Rats migrated along the Silk Road from East Asia to Europe. They carried fleas with bacteria causing the bubonic plague.

Animals in Science (02:17)

In Britain in 1859, Charles Darwin developed the Theory of Evolution by studying diverse species. Many medical breakthroughs, such as the discovery of insulin, came from research relating to animals. (Credits)

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Man and Beast

Part of the Series : Mankind Decoded
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



During the Ice Age, people and wolves formed a partnership that shaped the future of humanity. With the help of man's new best friend, we domesticated more animals, sowing the first seeds of farming and civilization. This film looks at how our relationships to other species helped us to survive in the natural world. Horses increased our military strength and speed; camels enabled us to cross deserts; and the silk worm led to the Silk Road, which also brought rats and disease to Europe. Finally, animals have helped researchers achieve medical breakthroughs such as the discovery of insulin.

Length: 22 minutes

Item#: BVL130779

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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