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"
Gestures: Greetings, Insults, Signals, Gesticulations
Facial Expressions: Stares, Smiles, Tells
2. "The Hunting Ape"
Diet: Fondness for sweets, Culinary variety
Evolution: Arboreal vegetarianism, Savannah meat-eating, Cooperative hunting with weapons, Food preparation, Aquatic ape hypothesis
Vestigal hunting behavior: Jobs, Sport Hunting, War
3. "The Human Zoo"
Urban Tribalism: Familiarity, Theft, Uniforms, Rituals, Conflict, Social status, Territory
4. "Biology of Love"
Courtship: Finding partners, Gender signals, Dating, Tie signs, Pair bonding, Intercourse
5. "The Immortal Genes"
Life cycle: Infant-parent interaction, Baby signals, Child behavior, Rites of passage, Cultural indoctrination, Fighting aging, Grandparenting, Afterlives
6. "Beyond Survival"
Creativity: Body adornment, Architectural embellishments, Vehicles, Art
Artistic progression: Innate scribbling, Realism
Play: Childhood experimentation, Adult inventiveness, Sports, Thrill-seeking, Symbolic thinking