What’s Your Favorite Biology-related Book or Movie?

2010/09/29
By Ms Baker

When I was very young I watched The Secret of NIMH. This movie had a huge impact on me. I would even credit it with starting me on the career path to biology! While the movie is entirely fiction (with anthropomorphic talking rats!), as a kid I was swept away with the idea that animals could be a lot smarter than we give them credit.

Do you have a biology related book or movie that you would like to recommend to others? If so, leave a comment to this post and give a description of the book/movie.  Include links to any clean Youtube clips, Amazon book reviews, etc. that you find.  Also, include a link to the author or movie’s home page (if it exists).

  • Naseem

    One of my favorite Disney movies happens to be “A Bug’s Life,” a C.G.I. (Computer-related imagery) released in 1998. The movie follows one ant named Flik who lives in a colony of ants and faces difficulties as any protaganist does in his story (but in an ant’s persepective.) Every season, Flik’s colony of ants has to pay a superior gang-like colony of grasshoppers their share of the food gathered for the winter, or else. So the ant Flik, who is unpopular among his ant peers, decides he will help his colony by recruiting warrior bugs to fight the oppressing grasshoppers.
    What I loved about this movie was that it was very creative in that it showed the lives of organisms so inferior to us humans that we just walk by them everyday, and it gave us a new persepective. Yes, the ants were personified with their voices and such, but the makers had to do some research into ant colonies in order to write the story “A Bug’s Life.”

    Link to the Pixar Trailer: http://www.pixar.com/featurefilms/abl/theater/trailer2_480.html

    Read Reviews Here:
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bugs_life/

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  • Dan

    My favorite Biology-Based movie, is a horror-action film. “District 9″ is about aliens that come to Earth, and are threatened by an African Government. A British Gov’t is also trying to find out how the alien’s weapons work–they require alien DNA recognition. The aliens live in a slum where they are underfed and treated like African Americans, in the 1800s.
    A Reporter is exploring the slums and is exposed to an alien fuel source (which is directly related to the alien genetics). The man slowly turns into an alien, and is chased by the British Gov’t and the African gangs (because his arm makes him valuable). The movie is disturbing at times (experimenting…), but it conveys a political message (Which has something to do with a conflict in Africa (I can’t recall where)). It actually enlightened me in some way, and I thought it was a great sci-fi/biology/human rights movie.

    Here is the youtube link, it may be disturbing (the worst is a man screaming with no visual signs of pain) Watch at your own risk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PDlMggROA

  • Deirdre

    A movie I enjoyed that can relate to biology is “Happy Feet.” Just like in “A Bug’s Life,” as Naseem has mentioned, the animals were personified with voices and expressions; but the movie did have a biology aspect. The main penguin character, Mumble, is ostracized in his penguin community for not having a singing voice. He further excludes himself from the group by saying that the loss of fish among the community was because of “Aliens” taking the fish away. These “Aliens” are the people who are taking the fish in alarming amounts. Mumble goes on a mission to try and stop the human intake of their daily food source. Although this movie is cute and entertaining, it relates to biology by showing that humans effect the food chain of animals everywhere. The movie did make me think about all the animals humans do effect. We cut down forests everyday to make more homes, we take away their food, and if we continue to do so, all the animals we love could die off.

    A trailer link : http://www.metacafe.com/watch/442311/happy_feet_trailer/

  • Andrea

    The Secret of NIMH was also one of my favorite movies when I was little. But another movie that I loved was Bambi. Bambi tells the story of a young deer who has just been born and already has the title of ‘Prince of the Forest,’ typically the name given to the male deer.
    Trying to live up to these expectations, Bambi tries to imitate his father who is currently the ‘Prince of the Forest,’ and heroicly saves a lot of the animals from hunters and a forest fire. The movie definitely captures how most of the animals interact with each other. Bambi soon finds love in the forest and there is a scene where Bambi and another male have to fight with each other for the female.
    But sadly, as we all know, Bambi’s mother is shot and killed by hunters, and Bambi is devastated. But luckily, Bambi’s newfound forest friends help him through his hard times and show him the wonders of the forest.

    Link for the trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLvX-erABqY

  • Emily

    “Finding Nemo” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and not only is it a heartfelt story, but is one that relates to biology in many ways. “Finding Nemo” is a Pixar animated film that was released in 2003. It is a touching story about a clown fish named Marlin and his frantic search for his son, Nemo, who is captured by a scuba diver. I truly loved this tale and the way it depicted all the different species living in the sea. For example, Bruce, a shark who Marlin encounters on his journey, claims that “fish are friends, not food.” Although Bruce claims to be a friendly shark, all the other fish instinctively swim away from him, knowing that his intentions are probably not good. It was very interesting to imagine what a fish would say if we had the ability to communicate with it, and how it, too, might show all the colors of emotion, such as fear and a sense of loss. Another amusing element of this story is Nemo’s perspective from a fish tank. He is absolutely horrified of the humans that repeatedly tap on the glass and has to adapt to his new surroundings. As I have owned a fish before, I thought it was entertaining to hear Nemo’s thoughts from inside of the fish tank. “Finding Nemo” is a beautiful story, and I highly recommend watching the movie.

    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZdpNglLbt8&feature=related
    Reviews: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/finding_nemo/
    Official Website: http://www.disney.co.uk/DisneyMovies/nemo/index2.html?DETECT=SWF.6000000

  • Alice

    One of my all time favorite movies is “The Bee Movie”, which was recently produced by Dreamworks in 2007. This movie not only relates to biology, but it also allows the audience to view life from a bee’s perspective. Before watching this movie, I had never really considered the important role that bees have on our environment, not to mention the advanced lives that bees actually live. This movie is from the point of view of one special bee named Barry B. Benson, who lives in a bee-hive in New York City. Barry has recently graduated from bee-college and is prompted to join the “Pollen Jocks”, who leave the hive in search of nectar, during a process known as pollination. With the “Pollen Jocks” by his side, Barry is able to explore the outside world of New York City. It is fascinating to think that bees might love the human world almost as much as we humans do. On one trip to the outside world, Barry accidently gets trapped inside of an apartment that belongs to a florist named Vanessa who rescues him. A friendship between Vanessa and Barry begins. As Barry becomes aware of some of the aspects of human life, such as that honey is sold in grocery stores, he is horrified. After watching the movie, it is clear that bees have to do a tremendous amount of work to produce honey, which humans take from them without thinking twice. After a series of events, bees stop pollinating the flowers, resulting in the death of many animals and other plants, as well as economically hurting flower-shops across New York City. This goes to show how big of a role bees have in our environment. Without bees our society couldn’t survive, but the majority of humans will never appreciate how much bees actually do for us.

    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16SMpTXpuuY
    Movie Website: http://www.beemovie.com/

  • Aurora

    My favorite biology related movie and book is “Hoot.” In the movie, a group of kids join together to try and save and protect the endangered owls that inhabit the land. However, they run into several problems along the way. Released in 2006, this movie expresses the idea of how not only to respect all creature’s living environment, but also how a group of kids about our age could make such a big difference in their community. It also makes a point of how important it is to stand up for what is right, even if not everyone’s always on your side.

    Trailer link: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3987669273/

  • Ms Baker

    These are great movies! Anyone have a book to suggest?

    I’m noticing a lot of these movies are animated and depict anthropomorphic animals. Anthropomorphism is the “attribution of human form or behaviour to a deity, animal, etc.” (source)

    In otherwords, ants don’t really talk like humans, sharks don’t contemplate vegetarianism, and deer don’t befriend rabbits. But, these movies show them performing these human behaviors.

    My question for everyone is this: Does anthropomorphism in movies help or hurt science learning? Because the information presented to people is not always accurate, does it misinform too much? Or is it harmless?

    Please remember to back up your responses with evidence.

  • Cartland

    A movie I saw in China is called ?Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe?? It’s the most excited biology-related movie I have seem. This movie is about the insects that we can not see or we can see it but they are really small. The movie depicts the world of insects has not a story, no subtitles, no explanation. Small insects, after re-amplification of the lens on the screen now, the original was actually so great, so amazing, so funny. Thanks to the film’s development and photographer, is that they spent a dozen years, spent a lot of energy and money, over time, only then carved out of the film offer. Grassland insects in their lens, one by one “on stage.” Flowers from the bee, ant, beetle battle, butterflies pupae drilled shells, spiders spin silk and bind up our wounds prey, snails, hugging, flying out of the water so mosquito larvae change scenes are very vivid detail is captured.Through these wonderful images, demonstrating the wonders of nature, the infinite Creator. This movie not only has beautiful ornamental value, but also has teaching and research value.
    A trailer link from YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv_6gey0Z3c

  • Leyla

    In terms of books, when I was younger I read a series of books called “Maximum Ride.” It was about a teenage girl and her friends who were 98% human and 2% avian due to lab experimentation when they were younger. I found it extremely interesting how the group of characters had an instinctual fear of humans despite the fact that they were only partially bird, and how a book directed towards pre-teens brought up the topic of ethics in biological experimentation.
    Book Review: http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/031615556X.asp
    I believe that anthropomorphism in movies and books does not harm people’s scientific knowledge so much as it effects their daily interactions with animals. For example, a study completed in the year 2002 concluded that 83% of pet owners thought of themselves as their pet’s “parent”, and 59% of pet owners even celebrate a pet’s birthday.
    http://www.filmgazing.com/anthropomorphism.html

  • Zach

    All of those movies are certainly-biology related. But, from my point of view, there is no other movie (that is also related to biology) is the 1993 Spielberg masterpiece “Jurassic Park”. From most of the other movies previously mentioned, “Jurassic Park” has quite a few differences. First, the movie is also a horror/drama novel by Michael Crichton. The novel was published in 1990, and is one of the best-selling novels of all time. Second, all of the previously stated movies contain anthropomorphism, while “Jurassic Park” does not. For the few who possibly do not know the plot to “Jurassic Park”, a man by the name of John Hammond has discovered a way to “clone” dinosaurs and locate them to his future theme park in Costa Rica. But, tragedy soon comes into the picture as Dennis Nedry, an employee of Hammond, hacks into the computer system and in result, turning the “park” into a havoc zone with free roaming dinosaurs with an appetite for humans.

    The methodology behind the cloning of the dinosaurs is by the use of the process of DNA extraction. To clone a dinosaur, the Jurassic Park scientists extracted broken DNA from mosquitoes, which sucked the blood of the dinosaurs. Now, one might ask how one can find one of the mosquitoes. In fact, the mosquitoes are trapped and preserved in amber, which is when a mosquito’s attraction to the sap of the tree mesmerizes the mosquito, and therefore immobilizes it. When the DNA is extracted, and thanks to genetic engineering, the gaps are then filled with avian, amphibian, or reptilian DNA strands to create embryos of each dinosaur. Also, all specimens of life on the park grounds are female due to a possibility of mating.

    This process of DNA extraction could be possible one day, in which the world could experience what the lives of dinosaurs were like, and learn more about their behaviors, actions, methods of courtship, feeding, and survival. With the possibility of that, we can never back down what our imaginations can carry us, and hopefully fully explore the lives of the predecessors of today’s organisms.

    Link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEwiZ7IlJdU
    Link to the review: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/jurassic_park/
    Link to the IMDB:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/

  • Molly

    I couldn’t recall any books that I have read recently relating to biology, but a movie I have seen that is not animated called “The March of the Penguins” (2005) strictly documents an emperor penguin’s natural journey through its life. The movie’s footage is completely real, and shows the hardships and adventures of a penguin’s life in Antarctica. The penguins march single file to their breeding grounds where they choose a monogamous mate to breed with. It is interesting to watch how the female’s egg is carefully guarded and warmed by the male as the female hunts for food at sea. The movie, in my perspective, informed hundreds of people about the daily lives of emperor penguins, and enriched their science learning. As far as animated movies, I agree with Leyla’s point that it will not harm people’s views of scientific learning but in some way it effects them. For example, in a study conducted in 2008, scientists and researchers have concluded that because certain animals are portrayed with certain characteristics or are described with personified adjectives, people may associate these animals with human behaviors in movies, books, stories, and literature. An example given was that humans tend to think most dogs are loyal, sweet, and caring animals. Therefore, in movies, television shows, books, stories, and other works of literature, dogs have loyal, and responsive behaviors. Humans show anthropomorphism in our literary works when we perceive animals and associate them with specific human characteristics that tend to dominate their commercial and artistic characters.
    Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atWHX8TSyYI
    Movie Website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/marchofthepenguins/
    Other Websites: http://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~gavan/bio/GJF_articles/anthropomorphized_objects_soc_cog_08.pdf
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0428803/plotsummary

  • http://amoebamike.wordpress.com AmoebaMike

    In my teens, Outbreak and Jurassic Park were pretty awesome movies related to biology. Jurassic Park, of course based on the book of the same name by Michael Crichton, was a summer blockbuster and Outbreak did well in the theaters too.

    Outbreak trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj9SUJdpJS4

    As for the anthropomorphism in animated films… Kids know animals don’t talk, so it doesn’t really hurt or help science learning. :-/

  • samantha

    Ever since I was little, I loved books and movies with animals in them. I probably read and saw all the Disney books and movies such as Bambi, Dumbo, a Bug’s Life, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, The Rescuers, the Lion King, Jungle Book, The Fox and the Hound, Bolt, Finding Nemo, and Winnie the Pooh, but one movie that I really enjoyed was Ratatouille. Ratatouille is about a rat, named Remy who is an excellent chef. He makes friends with the dish/garbage boy at one of the most famous restaurants in Paris, and Remy teaches him how to cook. The garbage boy, whose name is Linguini, saved Remy from death, because instead of throwing him into the river like the head chef of the kitchen told him to, Linguini realized that Remy could communicate and cook very well, so he saved him. With Remy’s help, Linguini pretends to cook at the restaurant, and everybody loves the food that they think Linguini is making. At the end of the movie, the truth is revealed, and even though the food critic loved the food, the restaurant closed down. However, the critic opened up a new restaurant where Remy became the head chef.
    I love this movie, and I could watch it a million times and never get tired of it. However, rats could not really cook and communicate with humans in real life, and even though it was a great film, it is so unrealistic. Even though films may not always be correct, I think that Anthropomorphism does not harm science learning, because the films are just for fun. I understand that some of the information could be deceiving, but children could still learn from them. They may also become inspired and excited about science. I think one of the reasons why I love animals so much today is because I saw movies about them when I was little. Even though some films give human features to animals, they do put some real facts in the movie. For example: In Finding Nemo, I learned that clown fish live in anemones. I also realized that when we go to the aquarium and pass clownfish, little children around me say something like, “Look. That is a clownfish like in Finding Nemo.” That shows you that children pick up on where animals live and how they live. The same goes for the Lion King. Children could see how animals act with one another, and how they survive.

    Link to the Ratatouille on Youtube.com:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFB1UhV7APs

    Link to Ratatouille games: http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/ratatouille/

  • http://statenislandacademy.org Eva

    “The Lion King” is one of my all time favorite movies. Although it is an animated movie, I was very young when I first saw it, so it opened me up to one of my first animal interactions. This movie is a little older than others, it was made in 1994. However, it still remains to be very popular and has proved to be a classic movie. It tells the story of a young lion who loses his father at a young age. His uncle tells him that he is the one responsible for his fathers death and that he should run away, which he does. Through his journeys he meets a hog and a mere cat. As he grows up with them, he realizes the importance of friendship, and as a old friends from his past returns and tells him about the hardships that their “tribe” has been facing he returns and saves the animals of his “tribe”. This movie not only shows some of the lifestyles of lions, but also of Africa’s many animals and herds. It shows how many animals all come together to protect each other from the dangers they may face. I think that this movie is a very good way to open up young children into the different possible explorations of animals and biology.
    After reading Alice’s comment, I also found myself very interested in her perspective of bees in “The Bee Movie”. Bee’s are small animals that I have never really considered to think about, but after I saw this movie I thought that it was very interesting to see life through their eyes. Although I doubt that the bees actually feel the pressures of picking jobs inside the hive, it showed me that there are many bees that work hard to create the honey that we enjoy. Also, in the movie, the main character, a small bee who is just learning the major ropes of bee civilization. He also realizes that being trapped inside the hive all his life is something he doesn’t want to do. After exploring outside of the hive, he finds all the honey that his bees work hard to make that the humans just take from them. Although I can not relate to this exact situation, I can see why he would feel so shocked and disappointed. This also relates to The Lion King, because when the main character did find that his uncle had just used him for the power of the “tribe” he felt just as betrayed as the main character in “Bee Movie”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNtbZf0JhmA

  • Sabrina

    Those are all great movies, but i would have to say my favorite biology related movie would have to be Tarzan. Tarzan is the story of a boy who is raised in the jungle by apes. The movie Tarzan,is related to biology because, it tells the story of how apes are very much similar to humans, with their tribes, techniques, and life style. Although this was an animated film, it has a plot which could be very easily compared to reality. The plot consists of the mother and father of the boy tarzan escaping from a burning ship and then going to a treehouse in need of shelter. In this treehouse they encounter leopard which kills the mother and father. When I first saw Tarzan I was 7 years old, watching it over and over again as I grew up helped me realize, that apes were very much adapted to our lifestyles. For examples the Mother gorilla cared for young (baby tarzan) and guarded him with her whole life. Related to humans a mothers love has no limits.This brief clip from the movie demonstrates the mother gorilla’s unconditional love and acceptance for tarzan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIVaUcE4kAM

  • Kelly

    One of my favorite biology-related books is Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a novel that takes place in southern Appalachia. She weaves together three stories of people in the area. One story is of a wildlife biologist who has come there to follow a pack of wolves, and a man who has come there to hunt the wolves. Another story is of a woman who had to move from the city to the mountains, and her struggles to figure out her place there. The third story follows two neighbors who are fighting with each other over their farming practices (one is trying to use organic/sustainable methods). From the book cover: “Over the course of one humid summer…these characters find connections to one other and to the flora and fauna…Their discoveries are embedded inside countless intimate lessons of biology, the realities of farming, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one part of life on earth.” One biology theme that runs throughout the book that I particularly liked was about predators, and how we don’t always like what they do (kill other things), but that they are vital to ecosystems.

    http://www.kingsolver.com/books/prodigal-summer.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Prodigal-Summer-Barbara-Kingsolver/dp/0060199652

  • http://www.orkin.com/rodents/rats/rat-habitathttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtmEBYQbTe0&feature=fvst Taylor

    It seems as though all of the great biology related movies and books have been claimed already! but out of all i tend to agree with Samantha’s comment most. This is mostly because rats interest me. When I first saw the movie I thought it was adorable and i automatically loved it because i happen to admire disney pixar works. Ratatouille is about a little tiny rat, Remy, and his passions of cooking, but it cannot be revealed that he is the mastermind behind the delicious meals! because when you think about it who would eat food, that has been touched by a rat? How do you know if it is sanitized, let alone safe to eat. If you haven’t seen Ratatouille I highly recommend watching it, because it is passionate, humorous, and most definitely tasteful! Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtmEBYQbTe0&feature=fvst
    However, this is not the only reason I am interested in rats. It all started when my sister came home from college as apart of one of her breaks, and sat down and told me and my family about her studies in the bio-chem lab at her college. She is experimenting lab rats with HIV/AIDS. WIth the knowledge I acquire on HIV/AIDS now, from studying it in history class, hearing about testing it on rats intrigued me and encouraged me to look up some things about rats. If you as interested as I am, look at this website for some back round information! http://www.orkin.com/rodents/rats/rat-habitat

  • Jessica K.

    These are all very interesting movie and book ideas! However, my favorite biology related movie would have to be the Disney’s Aristocats, released in 1970. Although it is a fictional and animated cartoon, this movie exhibits the everyday behaviors and survival methods of cats and how mothers tend to care for their kittens. In the beginning of the movie, the cats are dropped and left out in the wild and must find their own way home while supplying themselves with food, water, and caring for one another. It is interesting to see the cat’s strategies of surviving in the wild and this movie would appeal to all cat lovers and all animal lovers in general. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ss56lhgcU&feature=related
    Reviews: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/aristocats/

  • Deirdre

    Although I have commented earlier on this post about one of my favorite biology related movies, but I have just remembered a biology related book I have read. In the book “Touching Spirit Bear,” juvenile delinquent Cole Matthews has been cast on a desert island as court punishment for inflicting brain damage on an innocent boy at school. While on the island, Cole is attacked by a huge bear and endures great physical wounds. As he lies helpless on the ground, unable to move anything but his arm, he realizes that if he doesn’t eat, he would die of starvation. As he sees bugs and worms crawl around him, he has no choice but to reach for the bugs to eat. This holds Cole over for a while but he later goes unconscious because of lack of water. This shows that in any condition, the human body needs water to live. Our bodies can sustain a few days on little food, but without water we cannot maintain health.

    Book review: http://books.google.com/books?id=KmyagpEHznAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=touching+spirit+bear&source=bl&ots=RKirHehxY1&sig=B2OrZOs4LAHCiHyqtJRGzGNRoGE&hl=en&ei=YcqwTMKOKMT38Ab5sKyeCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • Zach

    All of these books/movies are really great!! But, from my view, one documentary shows the true value of life in different organisms. The documentary “Life”, aired on the Discovery Channel in April 2010, and was narrated by Oprah Winfrey. The documentary was divided up into twelve episodes, each with its own theme. For example, one example was devoted to reptiles/amphibians, another to fish, another for insects, etc.

    This documentary can really show all of you different types of animal behavior. For example, the behavior of flying fish jumping out of the water to avoid predators is really amazing in the fact that the behavior is practically innate to all the flying fish. The fish then “fly” (they’re really gliding across the surface) for a distance and then go back into the water. Another example of animal behavior is that a fish called a sarcastic fringehead uses “mean” tactics for territorial control. If another organism (such as an octopus) tries to crawl into its shell (the fringehead’s home), the fringehead then attacks with quick thrusts to drive away the octopus. But, if another fringehead is in the area, then an amazing fight over territory initiates. The fringeheads press their mouths against each other, and the fish with the largest mouth/victor of the fight gets the territorial control.

    I highly recommend this documentary to everyone. These series show to the public eye the nature of animal behavior over land, mates, reproduction, and defensive mechanisms. “Life” is wonderfully created, and shows the rarities of animal behavior and life on our planet.

    Links: Sarcastic Fringehead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRV961d0TP4
    Elephant Shrew: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2kUHUfuqWo
    Venus Fly Trap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzILn3rWTwc&feature=channel
    Mudskipper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGqae7vuUWo&feature=channel
    Darwin’s Beetle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MT9RoTbFoY&feature=channel

  • Zach

    Also, I would like to make another note of a fantastics documentary. This 9-part documentary, from the creators of “Life”, is also one of the most fantastic, amazingly shot, and the type of documentary that shows that our planet is really about. “Planet Earth”, released on the Discovery Channel in 2007 and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, features different environments on the planet, ranging from the polar ice caps, to dense rain forests and jungles, the ocean deep, hot deserts and caves. The series also showcases the different types of organisms that thrive in those regions, and how they can adapt to society to thrive.

    The purpose of this series is that Earth is more than people see it. The majority of people do not realize how complex Earth really is, and this documentary perfectly explains each different type of environment and the organisms that live in those parts of the world. For example, the documentary explains how a polar bear has to resort to swimming after the ice caps on the Arctic Ocean have melted. The polar bear will swim for miles until it can find nourishment for itself. Another example explained in the documentary is how different crabs and tube worms can thrive on the depths of the ocean floor, thousands of feet below sea level. The intense pressure that exists about 5-6 miles below sea level may sound difficult to survive in, but the surprising fact that the multitude of organisms that thrive in that region of the ocean can be underestimated by many, but after viewing this documentary, one can learn that organisms that range from crabs to the smallest bacteria can survive the volcanic vents that are existent there.

    I also highly recommend this documentary to everyone. The series has provided a clear explanation about how the environment affects the organisms that live there, and how the human eye can see what earth is really about. “Planet Earth”, just like “Life” shows the uniqueness and beauty of our home planet, and it shows that people should care about the planet as well. After watching such an amazing documentary, we can see how truly amazing each environment on Earth is, and how each can support its own unique set of organisms that live to thrive.

    Links:
    Deep Ocean: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/planet-earth-deep-oceans/
    Caves: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/planet-earth-caves/
    Freshwater: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/planet-earth-freshwater/
    Deserts: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/planet-earth-deserts/

  • Ali

    Well yes i agree with Taylor, all the Bio movie/books have been claimed. when i was a NYMA, my Citizenship teacher showed us a movie called The Bear, a 1988 French film based on the life of an orphaned cub that befriended a much older bear in British Columbia, Canada. It wasn’t an animated movie if you were thinking about Brother Bear (2003), although it had similar related connections. In “the Bear”, the opening scene starts out as when the cub, witnesses his mothers death and soon after is forced to rely off himself. elsewhere in the mountain, a pair of trophy hunters are tracking down the older bear. the younger hunter shoots the bear in the shoulder, but loses the bears tracks again. when the bears meet, a friendship bonds as the cub licks the older males wounds. the older Bear teaches the cub common lessons like hunting and fighting.

    Over time after the Hunters come back with a pack of dogs, they end up capturing the cub,torturing him and using him as bait to lure the older bear in for the kill. The hunters then set up a plan and split up again. the younger hunter puts down his gun, and then climbs up the mountain to find water. as he sits down on a corner, drinking water from a fall, the older bear corners him. the hunter was frightened and started to whimper and so the older Bear spared him. the younger hunter then told the older hunter to give up and soon let go of the cub.

    The cub was then alone and again, had to fend for himself to survive. at one point, a cougar attacked the cub and when the cougar finally injured the cub, the cub attempted to roar and the cougar, somehow scared, left. the cub turned around and realized that the roar came from the older bear. they embrace after being reunited, and walk inside a cave, preparing for winter.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095800/

  • http://www.lasarannasnosoninsectos.blogspot.com Leticia

    One of my favourite books related to Biology is “My family and other animals”, by Gerald Durrel. It is the first part of trilogy. It is about the trip the Durrell family made to Corfú, a Greek island. Durrell was only five or six years old when they arrived there, and he loves animals. He goes all through the island catching all sort of animals out, and studying them in his house. It´s a very funny book because his family is quite unusual, and his brothers are always scolding him for having animals at home. Little Durrell meets lots of different people, and finds very interesting animals. His description about their life in Corfú are really funny. When he grew older, Durrell found a zoo and other institutions trying to prevent animals of getting extincted.

    http://www.durrell.org/

    I beg your pardon for my horrible English, but I´m a Spaniard who has spent a lot of time without speaking any English, and finds now very difficult to write in this language.

  • Andrea

    These are all very good movies and books, but I have another book that I loved when I was younger. It was called, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. This book starts off when the Russians arrive on a Pacific island and take all of the otter and fish. The tribe is then forced to leave the island, but leave without a girl named Karana. Karana then has to survive alone on the island and keep herself alive by catching her own food, making her own weapons, and staying away from the wild dogs who killed her brother early on in the story. Karana is able to survive for years on the island until a ship finally comes and rescues her from the island. If you want to learn more about this book, here’s a link with its summary:
    http://www.readingmatters.co.uk/book.php?id=61

  • Emilio

    These are all great, and most of my favorites are taken, however I remember one series of movies I loved when I was really young. “The Land Before Time”, about a group of young dinosaurs and their daring adventures away from the adults. The protagonists are Littlefoot, Cera, Spike, Ducky, and Petrie. It was produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
    http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/the-land-before-time/

  • Josh

    One of my all-time favorite biology related movies is Brother Bear. This Oscar nominated film is about an Inuit hunter (Kenai) who turned into a bear after killing one. This shows how humans don’t understand how animals don’t mean harm but do harm if necessary when protecting each other,. Kenai went after the bear because it had stolen a fishing basket that Kenai’s brother made. After searching for the bear, Kenai’s brothers arrive. The three of them attack the bear but then one of the brothers’ fall into a crack in a glacier. Kenai then starts pulling his older brother out while the oldest brother fights the bear. The oldest brother then breaks the glacier witch kills him and drowns the bear, the bear survived and fled. The boys each had totems that represented them. The oldest brother died and became an eagle because that was the totem he was given. Then Kenai goes hunting for the bear. After killing the bear he then is transformed into a bear.
    The next morning his tribal prophet tells him that he has become a bear. This is where the personification starts to occur. Kenai then has to reach the mountain where the lights touch the earth. On his journey Kenai meets a cub whose name is coda. And they travel together. After several days of being together they finally reach the mountain. Kenai then is transformed back into a human but wishes to stay a bear. This story told in two perspectives, one of Kenai the human and the other, Kenai the bear. In each perspective Kenai faces challenges that either a bear in the wild would or a human in the wild would.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0328880/awards

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Oh3gZT40sc&feature=related

  • Nick

    Hey Mrs. Baker, the show that you posted, was new to me and I have never seen it before. One Disney movie that I love and would like to share with others is “Finding Nemo.” This movie is a great example of Marine Biology. It shows how it is a fight for survival is the sea. Another thing is shows is that fish are produced in a mass amount, but only a few of them survive. In the movie, the main character is Nemo, who was the only fish in his family that survived after a predator attacked the nest. This movie is used for Entertainment, but it actually shows science in each clip. Below is are 2 links, the first one shows all the eggs before the attack, the second one shows how many are left over after a predator attack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG3L98NFyro&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ9nbv1VK0s

  • Gurk

    Wow, guys all of great taste! One of my personal movies was The Lost World of Jurassic Park (Jurassic from where I got my evidence Park 2.) The Jurassic Park sequels have been made to scare, warn, and to gain knowledge. Jurassic Park 2 was a great movie; it was about a team sent to Jurassic Park Island to site B, to study dinosaurs there while a different team comes with a different plan. Before the movie was written into a screen play by David Koep, it was a novel which was written by Michael Crichton. But later after the great success of the novel director of the Jurassic Park 1, Steven Spielberg came back and made the Jurassic park The Lost World. The movie was a great, it was about the life of dinosaurs and how they adapted to the world when a huge portion of them lived. Also it shows how dinosaurs can be protective, and smart.
    These are some sites I have gathered my evidence.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119567/
    http://home.online.no/~bhundlan/scripts/TheLostWorld-JurassicPark.htm
    http://www.crichton-official.com/books-jurassicpark.html
    http://www.talktalk.co.uk/entertainment/film/biography/artist/steven-spielberg/biography/119

  • Josh

    The movie Avatar is a great example of biology. The planet “Pandora” is littered with life. All of the creatures, even the plant life can communicate with each other. When the humans come and try to mine Pandora for precious minerals they destroy most of the life forms. “They show that all living things are intertwine with each other, and if you destroy one the rest will follow”.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/

  • Josh

    In 2006 I saw the movie Megalodon which was about a marine drillng project going wrong and unleashing a prehistoric shark called the Carcharodon megalodon or Megalodon and it goes on a killing rampage until the drilling is stopped. This movie in spired to become a marine biologist and from then on i went to a marine biology camp were we did a survey on the summer flounder and caught a Lemon shark which intreagued me very much but thats for another time.

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5038897_megalodon-kids.html

  • Gunnar

    Well i would have to most definatley have to agree with Gurk, and Zach on that one. Steven Spielbergs master pieces consist of suspenseful action packed drama as people run and (sometimes) survive from an island that is filled with dinosaurs. There are three current Jurassic Park movies out right now. Jurassic park 1 which Zach mentioned which came out in 1993, and than there is the one Gurk mentioned which is Jurassic Park :The Lost World which came out in 1997 and than there is my favorite, the worlds best biological movie in all of this world Jurassic Park 3 which came out in 2001. In Jurassic Park 3, a couple convinces Dr. Alan Grant to go with them to the island of Isla Sorna. Isla Sorna is an island that is filled with vast amounts of dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus’s, Triceratops’s and of course the Tyrannosaurus Rex. But, what they didn’t know is that there is another predator among them something much more fierce than the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Spinosaurus. At nearly up to 60 feet tall the spineosaruas was found in egypt and marocco and live in the mid cretacious period. You can check out more information about him in the links below. As for the movie the group of Dr. Alan grant and the couple uncover DNA and Cells of dinosaurs such as Velociraptors, and get some DNA from a Carnitaurusus Fecies. All in all Jurassic Park 3 is a great movie!

    Sources:
    http://dsc.discovery.com/dinosaurs/spinosaurus.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163025/

  • Ali

    one Biology book i loved as a child was Julie Of The Wolves. This story is similar to Island of the Dolphins but instead of an island, the setting is Alaska.The story has three parts, from her present situation Amaroq, the Wolf, then a flashback chapter, Miyax, the Girl, and finally back to the present chapter Kapugen, the Hunter.

    The story opens with Miyax, which is Julie’s Inuit name, alone in the wilderness studying the wolves. She has been alone for some time, having run away from home to get to San Francisco. This first part of the book shows how Miyax seeks help from the wolf pack and how she is gradually accepted into the pack. She studies the gestures and “language” of the wolves and learns to mimic them. By adjusting to their living patterns, Miyax makes herself less threatening to the alpha male, whom she has named Amaroq. Her acceptance into the pack enabled her to retrieve food whenever needed, stay warm, and from my opinion, interact with the wolves.

    The second part of the book is a flashback of Miyax’s past. It is revealed that her mother died, leaving her with her father, Kapugen, whom she adores. Her father teaches her many things, including how to survive in her Arctic surroundings. One day, her Aunt Martha comes and tells of a law that Miyax must go to school and that Kapugen must go to war. Kapugen tells her that if anything happens to him or if she is unhappy, she can marry his business partner Naka’s son, Daniel. Miyax lives in Martha’s home in the town of Mekoryuk while she attends school under her American name, Julie. Martha soon reveals to Julie that her father is thought to be dead. Julie gradually accepts her father’s absence, and adjusts to her life among the Americanized Eskimos. She eventually agrees to be pen pals with Amy Pollock, who lives in San Francisco. Soon Julie is offered to marry Daniel, since she was of age. She accepts and is transported to Daniel’s village. Julie realizes that Daniel has problems, but is comforted by his mother. However, when Daniel attempts to rape her, she runs away for San Francisco to live with Amy, and changes her name back to Miyax.

    In the third part of the book, which returns to the present, Miyax follows the wolves, who help her in times of need, but realizes that the wolves are in danger as it is hunting season for the humans. She strikes out on her own and begins to live off the tundra with greater ease as she travels south, continuing her friendship with Amaroq’s son Kapu. Soon after, Miyax witnesses hunters in a plane shooting at her beloved pack, killing Amaroq and wounding Kapu. Grief-stricken, Miyax nurses Kapu back to health until he can become the alpha male, then Miyax forces her pack to abandon her for their sake. Miyax builds a life for herself, but soon discovers that Kapugen is still alive and hurries to meet him. Initially overjoyed to be reunited, Miyax is shocked to find Kapugen remarried to a white woman and to have forsaken the ways of the Eskimos, including owning a plane for hunting and giving her the inference that it was Kapugan who killed Amaroq. She leaves her father’s house with the intent to live alone on the tundra but decides to return to her father.

    http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/pdf/julie_of_wolves.pdf

  • Josh

    Just like Gunnar, Gurk, and Zach I too love the Jurassic park trilogy. The way the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat. In the first Jurassic Park Doctor Allen Grant visited an island filled with dinosaurs. This was made possible by cloning D.N.A from blood drawn from mosquitos that were fossilized in amber. Then after a short amount of time the power goes out and the carnivores escape. When the founder of the island invites his grandchildren, they are attacked by a tyrannosaurus Rex. Then when they make it back to the laboratory they are cornered in a kitchen by two Velociraptors.
    In the second Jurassic park a second island is discovered and this one is even more unsafe than the last. A group of “Dino “hunters start pillaging the island and taking the specimens, and exporting them around the world. At one point a T-Rex comes to New York and starts destroying property as well as eating some pets. This one is even more intense because the team of paleontologists stumble upon a baby T-Rex. When the mom hears the screams she almost throws the van off a cliff.
    In the third movie doctor Grant is back but this time to save a kid who got stuck on the island. When D.R Grant is separated from the group he meets the boy and they go and find the rest of the search party. This one is full of edge of your seat suspense you jump every time you see a dinosaur. In this movie the team is franticly running around the island only to be caught between 2 giant dinosaurs in an epic showdown. Then later in the movie another dinosaur attacks the team and almost drowns all of them.
    These movies show the creativity of people and how life has evolved over time. The thought of cloning was thought impossible only a few years ago and was only demonstrated in movies. Today we try to write laws against it.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119567/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163025/

  • Tove Rosenberg

    This is an old thread but noone seems to have mentioned this one so I will anyway, I saw “gorillas in the mist” when I was very young and it made me want to become a biologist and now I am studying biology at university :) . It´s a biography about Dian Fossey played by Sigourney Weaver http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095243/

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