The Mating Game is available as a Boxset on Catch Up for DStv Premium customers until Sunday, 27 February.
About the Show
Sir David Attenborough narrates this beautifully filmed, tongue-in-cheek nature documentary series on animals’ quests to find mates and have offspring. We see the unexpected and sometimes comical strategies used by animals from the zebra to the bullfrog, to the argus pheasant and humpback whale.
Episode 1: Grasslands – In Plain Sight
Grassland animals must mate where creatures, from rivals to predators, can see their every move. See how a young male ostrich finds a mate in Namibia, how a male Zebra keeps rivals from approaching the females that he has assembled, and how animals like the ruff, buff kangaroo and even the nursery web spider use trickery to have their way.
Episode 2: Oceans – Out of the Blue
Creatures of the ocean need specific skills to find a partner in the most sparsely populated habitat on Earth. Humpback whales make their way to Hawaii for the mating season, where each female has roughly 20 males to put through their paces. Meanwhile on the coral reef, clownfish, nudibranchs, and flatworms try everything and anything to be part of the game.
Episode 3: Jungles – In the Thick of It
In the darkness of the jungle, you need to stand out on a crowded stage. Young chimpanzees find it pays to be friends with the ladies instead of being the biggest, baddest ape on the block. A MacGregor’s bowerbird builds a castle to find a mate, and the great argus pheasant dances hypnotically, while the mandrill wears his heart on his face.
Episode 4: Freshwater – Timing is Everything
Fresh water is scarce and when everyone is searching for a mate on the same day in the same place, it pays to be loud, like South Africa’s giant bullfrogs. Hooded grebes in Patagonia go all out on the dance floor, and Zambia’s female lechwe antelope search for strong mates in the midst of a drought.
Episode 5: Against All Odds
Find out how solitary animals find a mate against all odds, like the male angler fish who attaches himself to the first female he meets in the abyss. The female laysan albatross struggles to find a male, and toad-headed agamas must find a mate amid shifting desert sands. From black-footed ferrets and giant pandas to 17-year cicadas, these animals need to pull out all the stops to find a suitor.
Watch the Mating Game Season 1 Sundays at 16:10 on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184)