The Evolutionary Edge

The Evolutionary Edge

A BBC Radio 4 nature series


Lucy Cooke examines the survival strategies adopted by animals to gain an evolutionary advantage

Award-winning broadcaster, bestselling author and zoologist Lucy Cooke has produced and presented numerous natural history shows on TV and radio, and has been tipped by The Times as 'the next David Attenborough'. In this BBC Radio 4 series, first broadcast under the title The Power Of..., she delves into the animal kingdom, exploring what gives certain species the evolutionary edge over their rivals.

Over the course of 8 episodes, she probes the science behind our seeming obsession with all things cute; unleashes her inner sloth to discover the surprising benefits of being slow; learns that honesty isn't always the best policy, whether you're a chimp, a squid or even a human being; and finds out why being small can give you step up on the evolutionary ladder.

She also investigates the animal communities that thrive on co-operation and peaceful behaviour, and considers why it works for them; looks at the power of celibacy and meets nature's ultimate self-cloning sisters; discovers how some species make a success out of going solo; and asks why it can pay to stir once the sun goes down - and whether future survival for many diurnal animals may depend on a nightlife.

Production credits
Presented by Lucy Cooke
Produced by Alexandra Feachem, Beth Eastwood and Adrian Washbourne

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the following dates:

The Power of Cute 17 May 2016
The Power of Sloth 26 December 2017
Power of Deceit 6 August 2019
Power of Petite 13 August 2019
Power of Peace 20 August 2019
The Power of Celibacy 4 January 2021
The Power of One 11 January 2021
The Power of Night 18 January 2021

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

About the author

Lucy Cooke

Lucy Cooke has a Master's in Zoology from the University of Oxford, where she was tutored by Richard Dawkins. She is the author of two previous books, A Little Book of Sloth, which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Unexpected Truth about Animals, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has also written for The Sunday Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Lucy is also an award-winning broadcaster and documentary filmmaker. Initially working behind the scenes in television comedy, she is now a regular on Radio 4 and has presented prime-time series for BBC, ITV and National Geographic.
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