Gorillas in black and white

The BBC breaks new ground (yet again) in a two-part documentary about Grauer’s gorillas and the quest of cameraman Gordon Buchanan to film them in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For the first time, we see what these rare gorillas do at night in their nests up in the trees. Sensitive night-vision cameras reveal their activity in amazing detail. It’s a delightful programme. The night-time visuals are so good you can actually ‘see’ the breath of the dozing ape –  by the subtle, rhythmic changes in the intensity of the colour of the gorilla’s nostrils -in glorious black-and-white. I recommend watching the clip full-screen.

Gorilla Family & Me starts on BBC 1 Monday (21 December 2015) and it comes with a detailed website presenting a lot of background info on the work of the park guides, scientists, and the TV crew in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. There are also detailed profiles of the gorillas themselves. Well worth a browse.

To find out more about the behavioural ecology of Grauer’s gorillas have a look at the papers below:

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