184 BBC Earth184

Attenborough is back in The Mating Game S1

Uncover the strange charms of animal courtship around the world in BBC’s nature documentary The Mating Game Season 1

Sundays on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 16:10

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.

The Mating Game Episodic EP1 Zebras 16X9 Landscape 3840X2160px 72Dpi RGB Clean

Changing the game in The Mating Game Season 1

17 January 2022

Filming bullfrogs and termites courting in South Africa changed how the BBC’s Nature Unit will work in the future!

Video Highlights

Video 24 September 2021
The Mating Game: Trailer | New Attenborough Series
Video 13 October 2021
Sir David Attenborough on nature’s most spectacular mating displays
Video 01 January 0001
Ostrich Gives the Performance of His Life
Video 21 October 2021
Bullfrog Battle Royale
Video 29 October 2021
The Best Wingmen in the World

Episode guide

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)

BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) is available on DStv Premium. To upgrade your existing package, click here. Or if you'd like to Get DStv, find a service that suits your needs here.