50 episodes

Each week the BBC Earth podcast brings you entertainment, humour, an abundance of amazing animal stories and unbelievable unheard sounds. Explore the world of animals with superpowers, deep dive into death, hear from heroes passionately protecting the planet and get expert insights into corners of the natural world you’ve never explored before.
Hosted by zoologists Rutendo Shackleton and Sebastian Echeverri, each episode features special guests including the world’s most respected scientists and naturalists, stars of film and television, nature Instagrammers and more.
Listen, laugh and learn – whether you’re a nature lover, nature curious or haven’t yet realised nature is for you, there’ll be a story here to captivate your ears.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

BBC Earth Podcast BBC Earth

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 365 Ratings

Each week the BBC Earth podcast brings you entertainment, humour, an abundance of amazing animal stories and unbelievable unheard sounds. Explore the world of animals with superpowers, deep dive into death, hear from heroes passionately protecting the planet and get expert insights into corners of the natural world you’ve never explored before.
Hosted by zoologists Rutendo Shackleton and Sebastian Echeverri, each episode features special guests including the world’s most respected scientists and naturalists, stars of film and television, nature Instagrammers and more.
Listen, laugh and learn – whether you’re a nature lover, nature curious or haven’t yet realised nature is for you, there’ll be a story here to captivate your ears.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Ghosts

    Ghosts

    The show takes a spooky turn as we go on a ghost hunt through the natural world. Sebastian shares his adventures finding fossils – the traces of animals that once lived, and Rutendo talks about her experiences in The Cradle of Humankind, the South African UNESCO World Heritage site containing early human fossils.
    Deep in the Peruvian Amazon there is a species of wild dog so rarely sighted it has become known as the ‘ghost dog’. We hear from Renata Leite Pitman, one of the few scientists to successfully track down and study the elusive creature as it moves quietly through the forest.
    Gravedigger turned ecologist Dan Flew leads Rutendo and Sebastian through Bristol’s Arnos Vale Cemetery in the dead of night, for a close and thrilling encounter with some of the UK’s rarest bats.
    We venture to the world’s most northerly permanently inhabited place, Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, where TikToker Cecilia Blomdahl reveals the magical secrets of this isolated yet beautiful landscape, on a trip out on her boat with her dog Grim.
    And we hear rare recordings of the Northern White Rhino, sadly now extinct in the wild, a recently departed ghost of a more biodiverse world.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Renata Leite Pitman for the feature on the ghost dogs.
    Dan Flew for leading the bat walk in Bristol.
    Cecilia Blomdahl for her report from Svalbard.
    Martyn Stewart for providing the sounds of the Northern White Rhino.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    Order and chaos

    Order and chaos

    The difference between order and chaos can depend on your perspective. The systems and processes that drive the natural world might seem random in close-up, whether it’s an ant wandering around near its nest, or a wildebeest charging through the water. But if you zoom out, you can see how these small activities combine to form part of a bigger picture.
    The Darwin Tree Of Life project is an attempt to bring order to nature by sequencing the DNA of every living thing in the UK, a staggering 70,000 species. The research team explains how they’ll keep on target by doing a little light sequencing before their morning coffee.
    We fly high with one of nature’s most stunning visual displays of order, murmuration, learning from Professor Mario Pesendorfer how this magical movement comes together, and how birds move in perfect sync with no leader.
    And wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson – who has helped to create some of the BBC’s best-loved nature documentaries – takes us on a trip to Maasai Mara, where the annual rains bring a natural order to the migration patterns of wildebeest.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Caroline Howard, Liam Crowley and Mark Blaxter for the feature on the Darwin Tree of Life Project.
    Mario Pesendorfer for sharing his insights into murmurations.
    Chris Watson for providing the wildebeest soundscape.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 29 min
    Rhythm

    Rhythm

    Sebastian is not afraid to admit that he lacks natural rhythm. But Rutendo thinks he’s too hard on himself – perhaps the world is just out of sync with him. Besides, every living thing is built upon natural rhythms, from our response to night and day, to the beating of our hearts.
    Kristina Bolinder leads us on an exploration of a plant with a very unusual habit: it only flowers under the light of the full moon. The reason why connects a century of lunar records with the latest in botanical research.
    Deep in the Budongo Forest in Uganda, a team of researchers has been following a group of chimps for several years, and learning that they each have their own signature rhythm, expressed through drumming on the base of trees. What’s more, they can choose when to reveal their identities through their drumming, and when to keep them hidden.
    Frozen Planet II Producer Rachel Scott tells us about the rhythm of life in the Arctic, from the devastating effects of climate change, to a beautiful and unexpected
    sequence featuring polar bears dancing on ice.
    We close with the friendly tap-tapping sounds of the Great Spotted Woodpecker – who reveals much within its rhythm.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Kristina Bolinder for sharing her discovery that connected plants to the lunar cycle.
    Vesta Eluteri, Viola Komedova, Catherine Hobaiter and Mugisha Stephen for the feature on chimpanzee drumming.
    Rachel Scott from the BBC Natural History Unit.
    Chris Hails of wildechoes.org for providing the woodpecker soundscape.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 37 min
    Individuals

    Individuals

    In an age of individualism, sometimes we are more connected than we think. And the same is true for everything on the planet. Rutendo and Sebastian explore the question of how and why we define an individual, a colony, or a group, across the animal kingdom.
    Lisa Kirkendale was astounded when she came across the longest organism ever discovered, a siphonophore off the coast of Australia. Composed of several semi-independent but constantly connected parts known as zooids, could it be seen as a colony of many creatures, or just one?
    Richard Youell, a beekeeper and sound recordist, uses innovative techniques to record directly inside a beehive, an almost impossible task because of bees’ natural inclination to protect themselves from a microphone, by covering it in wax. After a lot of time and patience, he has managed to record the unique captivating sounds of the battle between potential queens, a behaviour known as piping, where there can be only one victor.
    And we hear from Australian rockers King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, about their efforts to reduce the impact of their packed touring schedule on an increasingly fragile ecosystem.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Richard Youell for sharing his insight and sound recordings from within a beehive.
    Interviewee Lisa Kirkendale from the Western Australian Museum.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 30 min
    Threat

    Threat

    It’s a scary world out there, as we explore how everything on the planet – from humankind to glaciers – must be able to respond to threat in order to survive. Sebastian surprises Rutendo with a story of the time he lived in Japan and took up fencing, occasionally finding himself at the wrong end of a sword.
    WWE wrestler and commentator Stu Bennett, better known as Bad News Barrett, is used to feeling the pressure in the ring. But away from that controlled environment, he has faced less expected threats, including an underwater close encounter with an enormous moray eel. He also shares his concerns – and hopes – for the future of a planet under its own kind of threat.
    In Nepal, poaching of rare animals is a growing problem, threatening the ecosystem itself. Kumar Paudel is tackling this issue head-on, using folk music and videos to educate rural communities on the consequences of poaching, and meeting face-to-face with convicted animal smugglers, to try to make lasting change against the odds.
    Lianna Zanette tells us about her work studying predator-induced fear, and how animals respond differently to threats depending on how they perceive their environment.
    And Oskar Glowacki introduces heartrending sounds recorded inside glaciers which are dying as a result of climate change.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Liana Zanette from The University of Western Ontario for sharing her research into the ecology of fear.
    Interviewee Stu Bennett aka Bad News Barrett.
    Kumar Paudel from Greenhood Nepal.
    Oskar Glowacki from the Polish Academy of Science for talking us through and letting us hear his glacier recordings.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 36 min
    Reflections

    Reflections

    Light and reflection are crucial across the animal kingdom, and sometimes they interact in strange and surprising ways.
    Rutendo tells Sebastian about the time she carried out a classic experiment, the mirror test, with lions, during her PhD. Some lions made friends with the mirrors, while others pursued less wholesome activities...
    The hatchet fish has evolved a fascinating means of hiding itself from predators, especially those searching out their prey with giant bioluminescent headlights. Biologist Alison Sweeney explains how the fish is able to disappear almost completely, using a combination of mirror-like scales and cells that act like fibre-optic cables on its belly.
    Yossi Yovel invites us into his “bat lab for neuro-ecology” in Tel Aviv, where he carries out (harmless) experiments with helium to see how a changed atmosphere can dramatically impact a bat’s ability to navigate using echolocation.
    And we find ourselves immersed in the bizarre sound-world of the lyrebird, which can perfectly mimic everything from car alarms to the calls of up to 25 other species of bird.
    Credits:
    The BBC Earth podcast is presented by Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton.
    This episode was produced by Rachel Byrne and Geoff Marsh.
    The researcher was Seb Masters.
    The Production Manager was Catherine Stringer and the Production Co-ordinator was Gemma Wootton.
    Podcast Theme Music was composed by Axel Kacoutié, with mixing and additional sound design by Peregrine Andrews.
    The Associate Producer is Cristen Caine and the Executive Producer is Deborah Dudgeon.
    Special thanks to:
    Alison Sweeney from Yale University for sharing her research on hatchetfish.
    Yossi Yovel from Tel Aviv University for his interview about bat senses.
    Marc Anderson for supplying the lyrebird soundscape.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
365 Ratings

365 Ratings

LLQTR ,

Bring back Emily Knight

Do listen to the first three series, which are excellent but skip the most recent one. The new presentation style is better suited to children than adults - I want to hear about nature, not the presenters’ childhood memories of cheesebread!

Crei4 ,

Preferred the old format

I really enjoyed the fist few series but the newest one is just a very different style. Nothing against the presenters just so different and not as relaxing and feels more for children.

pwest1999 ,

New presenting style is not good

I used to love this podcast and have stopped listening because it is no longer interesting. I think the presenting style is not right for a nature podcast - Emily Knight, however, was spot on. Presenters are great but not a good fit for this at all.

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