The Human Animal (TV series)

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Human Animal
The Human Animal 1994 TV Series Cover.jpg
The Human Animal VHS cover
GenreNature documentary
Presented byDesmond Morris
Composer(s)Howard Blake
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)Steve Burns
Bill Cosmas
Mike Beynon
John Macnish
Clive Bromhall
Vanessa Berlowitz
Running time50 minutes
Picture format4:3
Audio formatStereo
First shown inBBC One
Original release27 July 1994

The Human Animal: A Personal View of the Human Species is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by Desmond Morris, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 27 July 1994. The series was produced in association with Discovery Channel.

Morris describes it as "A study of human behavior from a zoological perspective." He travels the world, filming the diverse customs and habits of various regions while suggesting common roots. At the close of episode one, Morris said:

I've sometimes been accused of degrading mankind, of insulting human dignity, of making man beastly. This surprised me because I like animals, and I feel proud to call myself one. I've never looked down upon them, so to call human beings animals is not, to me, degrading. It's simply being honest: putting us in our place as part of the scheme of nature on the planet Earth.


1. "The Language of the Body"[edit]

2. "The Hunting Ape"[edit]

  • Diet: Fondness for sweets, Culinary variety
  • Evolution: Arboreal vegetarianism, Savannah meat-eating, Cooperative hunting with weapons, Food preparation, Aquatic ape hypothesis
  • Vestigial hunting behavior: Jobs, Sport Hunting, War

3. "The Human Zoo"[edit]

  • Urban Tribalism: Familiarity, Theft, Uniforms, Rituals, Conflict, Social status, Territory

4. "Biology of Love"[edit]

5. "The Immortal Genes"[edit]

  • Life cycle: Infant-parent interaction, Baby signals, Child behavior, Rites of passage, Cultural indoctrination, Fighting aging, Grandparenting, Afterlives

6. "Beyond Survival"[edit]

  • Creativity: Body adornment, Architectural embellishments, Vehicles, Art
  • Artistic progression: Innate scribbling, Realism
  • Play: Childhood experimentation, Adult inventiveness, Sports, Thrill-seeking, Symbolic thinking

Erratum: Firewalking has been explained.

Video and book[edit]

The accompanying book, The Human Animal by Desmond Morris (ISBN 978-0563370215), was published by BBC Books on 21 July 1994.[1]


  1. ^ Desmond Morris (1994) [First published 1994]. The Human Animal. England: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-37021-5.

External links[edit]