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CBC's The Nature of Things Delves into Biology, Astronomy, Ancient Arctic Mysteries, and Urban Wildlife in New Documentaries

The Nature of Things airs Thursdays at 8pm on CBC-TV

Canada's longest-running and multi-award-winning documentary series, The Nature of Things, kicks off November and December with documentaries that chronicle the secret lives of inner-city squirrels; extra-terrestrial planet hunters; the first meeting between Europeans and North Americans; the complexities and sophistication of animal minds; the impact of light on our health; and the New World's true "first peoples".

Hosted by the iconic David Suzuki for three decades, The Nature of Things brings science - in all its diversity - to Canadian audiences. The series has paved the way for a greater understanding of the increasingly complex world in which we live. It engages minds and celebrates science, and informs and entertains all Canadians.

NUTS ABOUT SQUIRRELS
Airs Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
There are those of us who see squirrels as cute and fascinating, but there is also a large contingent who regard them as "tree rats" - little pests that never tire of wreaking havoc in our attics, gardens, and just about anything else that catches their fleeting fancy. So who's right? Nuts about Squirrels reveals the secret world of the ubiquitous urban grey squirrel with squirrel robots, micro-chipped acorns and an army of citizen scientists.

VIDEO: click to see a preview

PLANET HUNTERS
Airs Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
Are we alone in the universe? We may be very close to finding out. For millennia humans studying the stars had no idea if there were any other planets in the universe, let alone ones similar enough to ours to sustain life. Now, scientists may be close to discovering Earth-like planets, using a new space telescope and a technique pioneered by two Canadian astronomers.

THE NORSE: AN ARCTIC MYSTERY
Airs Thursday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
An intrepid Arctic archaeologist is on the verge of proving that the first meeting between Europeans and North Americans happened centuries before Christopher Columbus. There are the tantalizing bits of evidence, like the Norse ship station in Newfoundland. But nothing has been found there or anywhere else to suggest that Arctic peoples and the Norse met face to face a thousand years ago... Until now.

MYSTERIES OF THE ANIMAL MIND (An Encore Presentation)
Airs Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
In Mysteries of the Animal Mind we meet the researchers who are finding growing evidence of compassion, cooperation, altruism, empathy, intelligence and communication in all sorts of different species. Chimps who empathize; elephants who problem-solve; lemurs who count and lizard who can solve problems just as well as many birds or mammals. Are these animals acting on instinct? Is it simply trial and error? Or is it something more?

LIGHTS OUT!
Airs Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
Twelve hours of light. Twelve hours of dark. For our entire history we have lived and worked in rhythm with the sun. But all that changed with the invention of artificial light. Light fixtures, computer and television screens - all of these have allowed us more time to live, work, play and shorten our nights. But at what cost? Are we putting our health at risk? We explore how the type of light we are exposed to in the hours between dusk and bedtime can play tricks on our bodies and cancel the healthful benefits naturally triggered by the absence of light.

CODE BREAKERS (An Encore Presentation)
Airs Thursday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV
Who were the first humans in the Americas, and where is their ancient homeland? What does science tell us about their origins? Until now, scientists believed a mammoth-hunting people called Clovis swept across the Bering Land Bridge and down an ice-free corridor to the New World. But new discoveries are overturning the Clovis paradigm. At this critical turning point, anthropologist Niobe Thompson takes us a fascinating journey, from Siberia, to the Bering Strait, to the world's most advanced ancient-DNA laboratories, in search of the true "first peoples" of the New World.

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About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus five languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada celebrated 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

For further information, or to request interviews, contact:
Corey Black, News and Current Affairs Publicist, CBC
o) 416-205-8710
c) 647-221-4133
corey.black@cbc.ca

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