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Karen Bass: Unseen footage, untamed nature

At TED2012, filmmaker Karen Bass shares some of the astonishing nature footage she’s shot for the BBC and National Geographic — including brand-new, previously unseen footage of the tube-lipped nectar bat, who feeds in a rather unusual way …

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at

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44 thoughts on “Karen Bass: Unseen footage, untamed nature

  1. Some of the images shown of the Altiplano was, in fact, Mexico or Arizona. Some saguaros are clearly visible in some of the shots. But saguaros grow only in Mexico, Arizona, and a tiny bit of California.

  2. Excellent video

    She's a great speaker and driven by passion … She is creating much needed awareness

    What's she doing today ? April 4 /2016

  3. Where did the party go?

    Sorry we were 3 yrs late.. Damn Niburu cut us off at the wormhole due to undetected black hole issues


  4. Because the only other "answer" is to say: "God/Aliens did it" and that answer answers absolutely nothing. "How did they do it?" is still left unanswered.

  5. We call it theory because that's the best word to describe what it is. The only problem with the word is that its colloquial meaning is so different from its actual meaning. "Scientific theory" is the highest level that human thought and study can ever achieve. It is a descriptive model for a group of related phenomena which describes all of the available evidence and is refuted by none. Theories are the greatest works of humanity. The word is fine. People are wrong.

  6. It's "foley" sound and yes, almost all wildlife films use foley sounds. How in the world can you mic the bears going down the slope and hear the shuffling of the snow from that distance? No way. I am not an audio guy but maybe parabolic mics may work but foley sounds are still very much a base to work from for wildlife films.

  7. Although I may be wrong, while looking back at that shot critically, I believe the sound is fake. It is a very common thing in general film making to have something called "folly." That is, creating your own sounds from scratch to then play over the video. Although I would love it if those sounds were real for integrity, in nearly every other conventional movie uses folly. For other movies it could be someone walking for a paperclip hitting a table, or even someone walking in snow.

  8. I was so astounded at the clarity of the sound that I had to wonder how they managed to navigate a balloon, blimp, or such to that altitude. But no. They must of used a highly directional microphone. But how did they get sound that was free of the helicopter's whup whup whup and free of any down wash of air? Could they have managed to dangle the microphone from what must have been a very long line–and still keep it pointed in the right direction? It was so crisp; it seems hard to believe.

  9. Yes. Populations reproduce in greater numbers than survive to adulthood. All of the offspring are slightly different from each other and from their parents. Some of those variants will be better suited to survive and reproduce than others. Their offspring will inherit those advantages. Over many thousands of generations and many more incremental variations, the descendant populations will exhibit all of the advantageous traits passed down from their ancestors. Descent with modification.

  10. No, I didn't use creationist textbooks. Here's a short list of fields that provide evidence:

    Comparative anatomy
    DNA sequencing
    Chromosome 2 in humans
    Cytochrome c

    Way too much information to fit into youtube comment boxes, really just do some objective research, but be warned actual scientific facts are large, complex and can be boring. probably why you haven't familiarized yourself with them.

  11. Instead of posting the question you might want to grab your ass and book up. Look it up yourself. Read some literature. You'll understand.

  12. Knowing the exact cell structure (ie: the numerous components in a cell) isn't needed. But some basic knowledge on DNA is advisable if you want to better understand mutations. They are basically nothing more than a naturally occurring change in the code, which leads to new information.

    This new code/information can be either beneficial, harmful, or neutral. Organisms with a beneficial mutation are able to breed more/faster thus spreading those genes *with* the beneficial mutation more as well.

  13. For some reason, whenever I see these shots in the episodes, I always go with a tiny bit of awe and sometimes a little meh. But whenever they are highlighted in videos like these; having history, how it was shot, the trivia mixed in, etc., it captivates me more (I think…). Anyways, thanks TED and Karen Bass (also, anyone involved in nature/science type of shows) for making things a little bit more special for time to time.

  14. A theory is one of the highest things you can attain in science. They are higher than facts, and used to explain them.

  15. Two simple reasons:

    a) For over 150 years, all the evidence that we do have leads towards this conclusion.
    and b) there is not a single piece of evidence that conflicts with it.

    If you're truly interested in the truth you would first learn to understand evolution *before* you claim it's not true. Because if you 'hate it' you will never learn how it works, not even the basics, so be honest with yourself and truly investigate.

    I'm happy to answer any question you have regarding the subject.

  16. What you missed is that the flowers weren't created like this, they co-evolved. Since the furry bat is the optimal carrier of pollen, the flower wanted to protect the nectar from everything else, growing longer. To keep up, the bats with the longest tongues survived, the others didn't. But then again, you weren't looking for answers.

  17. At 9:47… The look is priceless!

    "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind"
    Alfred Einstein

  18. This made me laugh, but then I realised you might actually have a point 🙁 now I'm thinking about all the iconic species that could be extinct by the time I'm grey and old. Would be weird if we by then did have some way (hot/cold/something else) for fusion to happen in small scales and realised all that destruction was pointless. But who knows what stuff like nanotech will do in the next 100 years, more funds to science!!!

  19. Lol! Let's debate about God, creationism & evolutions & totally forgot to comment anything related to the video. Seriously, guys?

  20. Absolutely stunning images! This really is the product of technology in the right hands; Expanding our knowledge and reminding us just how breathtaking our planet is beyond the concrete and asphalt. Seeing those images reminds us how lucky we truly are to be here. Thank YOU and the brilliant talented teams you get to work with.

  21. evolution its just a way to compress the whole life goes through to adapt to certain circumstances, that doesnt mean it is one whole answer nor the answer to life and existance, religion civilizations,people,sicknesess etc. evolve too.
    denying evolution makes you look retarded its like you are denying change all togheter.
    life is not static it changes it grows to other things, and when it changes a lot it is a complete different thing than what it was in the first place.

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