Segments in this Video

Evolution through Natural Selection (04:01)


The Mountain Ash is the largest flowering plant in the world. The laws of physics and the fundamental elements of nature constrain all life on Earth. Size profoundly influences one's way of life.

Great White Shark Hunting Grounds (03:50)

Andrew Fox travels to the South coast of Australia to the hunting grounds of this marine giant. From inside a shark cage, Fox watches sharks attack specially prepared bait.

Evolution of Marine Giants (03:00)

Aquatic animals experience a buoyant force equal to the volume of water their bodies displace. The supportive nature of water releases organisms from gravity's constraints. Experts discuss shark shape and ratio.

Red Kangaroo (02:07)

Gravity molds, shapes, and limits the size of life. The Outback of New South Whales is home to Australia's largest native land animal. Dr. Adam Munn locates a large male.

Energy Cost of Locomotion (02:43)

Dr. Adam Munn explains how kangaroos move at slow and fast speeds. The evolution of hopping gives kangaroos an efficient mode of movement.

Scaling Relationship (02:14)

Dr. Adam Munn uses blocks to explain what happens to body mass when body size increases.

Diprotodon (04:31)

The Diprotodon was Australia's largest marsupial. Dr. Aaron Camens compares a wombat femur to a Diprotodon femur. Learn how bones change with evolution to support body mass.

Bending the Laws of Physics (02:46)

There are over 900,000 known species of insects; Dr. Christine Lambkin believes there are three times that amount that remain undiscovered. Insects make up 75% of all animal species; beetles are the most abundant.

Smaller Means Stronger (02:32)

Every February the Rhinoceros beetles emerge to find a mate; gram for gram, beetles are among the strongest animals alive. Male beetles are known to fight.

Small Size Diminishes Gravity's Influence (03:29)

Small things fall slower because of greater air resistance to their mass and have less kinetic energy. Electromagnetism is a binding force that allows insects to climb smooth surfaces.

Natural Parasite (03:30)

Richard Llewellyn utilizes the trichogramma wasp's life cycle to protect macadamia nut harvests. Learn about the wasps' reproductive behaviors.

Bacteria, Dominant Life Forms (02:19)

Microscopic bacterial cells build up to create thrombolites. Minimum size of life depends on electrons, atoms, and molecules. The laws of physics dictate our relationship with our world.

Size Dictates Energy Flow (03:06)

Southern Bent-wing bats may fly up to 80 kilometers a night for food. Their high metabolism requires large amounts of food for energy and to maintain body heat.

Speed of Life (03:52)

Size affects heart rate, metabolism, and food consumption. As size increases, energy requirement decreases. Dr. Adam Munn considers why this occurs and discusses scaling.

Size and Longevity (05:13)

Metabolic rate greatly impacts life span. Christmas Island houses over 20 species of land crabs. Learn how the Robber crab lives its life through a range of scales; they can reach 70-80 years-of-age.

Size Influences Every Aspect of Life (01:10)

Evolution is forced to act within the laws of physics. See images of every creature in this program.

Credits: Size Matters: Wonders of Life (00:47)

Credits: Size Matters: Wonders of Life

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Size Matters: Wonders of Life

Part of the Series : Wonders of Life
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In this episode, Prof. Brian Cox travels around Australia to explore the physics of the size of life. He explores the largest flowering plant- the Mountain Ash, takes to the seas to get up-close with a great white shark, tracks the largest living marsupial (a the red kangaroo) in the outback, examines the insects of Queensland's rainforests, scrutinizes trichogramma in the Glass House Mountains, studies thrombolites near Perth, inspects the tiny Southern Bent-wing bat of South Australia, and explores a theory about metabolism and life expectancy on Christmas Island. (52 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL55735

ISBN: 978-0-81609-276-5

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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