Natural History

Life Episodes: Mammals

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Mammals are found in every habitat except the deep ocean. Besides their signature physical traits of fat, fur and warm blood, they are unique among animals in the care they lavish on their young.

In an astonishing sequence, an elephant grandmother shoves her inexperienced daughter aside to pull her newborn granddaughter out of the mud and save her life.

Unlike reptiles, warm-blooded mammals can cope with extreme cold — the Weddell seal is able to survive the punishing winter temperatures on the Antarctic ice. Numbering more than ten million, giant fruit bats in Zambia migrate to a mega-roost. In a television first filmed off Tonga, male humpback whales travel hundreds of miles for the chance to breed with a single female in a violent contest called the "heat run."

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