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BBC World Service launches new podcast about animals and innovation

PRESS RELEASE — March 13, 2019 · 2.1 minutes to read

The BBC World Service is launching a brand new 30 part podcast about amazing animals and what we have learnt from them. 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter brings together the wonders of the animal kingdom with innovation and technology and is presented by one of the rising stars of natural history programmes, Patrick Aryee.

Each episode tells the story of a technological or scientific breakthrough which has come about as a result of humans learning from animals. In episode one, we find out how the designers of the bullet train took inspiration from the kingfisher. And later in the season, Patrick will tell us how the energy efficient construction of termite mounds inspired the ventilation systems in buildings in Harare and Melbourne.

Patrick Aryee is a presenter with the BBC’s Natural History Unit and Sky. Over the years, he’s been free diving with sperm whales and has had close encounters with Komodo dragons and cheetahs. He studied biology and has presented TV series about the biggest animals on earth and Yellowstone National Park.

Patrick says:

“This podcast brings together two of my biggest passions in life, the wonderful spectacle that is the animals of the natural world and a deep curiosity for how things work. What I love most about each of the stories is how they’re all so positive - they’re all about trying to make our world a better place.

The 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter podcast combines his fascination with animals and how things work by learning from the animals we share it with. It’s a great bite-sized nugget of goodness from Mother Nature and I hope our audience will enjoy listening to it as much as I’m enjoying making it.”

Each podcast will be up to around 15 minutes. BBC World Service Podcast Commissioning Editor, Jon Manel, says:

“One of the things I love about this podcast is we’ll find out incredible facts about the animal kingdom and also the talented scientists and engineers who are determined to learn from it. Just imagine being on a beach and realising we can take tips from the way a mussel attaches to a rock - as humans, we have so much to discover from the animals around us. This podcast is going to be fun, informative and highly bingeable - perfect to download and take on a journey with you.”

30 Animals That Made Us Smarter is produced by Sarah Blunt and the music has been composed by Dan Pollard. The wildlife sound recordist is Chris Watson.

There will be animations released online and on social media to accompany the series, which have been created by award winning science animator Jules Bartl, who also designed the podcast artwork.

The trailer of 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter is available now wherever you find your podcasts. The first episode will be released on 25 March, and weekly after that.

Press release from BBC - this is reprinted verbatim; we rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to


30 Animals That Made Us Smarter
By BBC World Service


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