Female orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).
Parkour and orang-utans, risks from solar storms
3 January 2012
This week in the Planet Earth Podcast: Sue Nelson goes to Birmingham to find out how the James Bond film Casino Royale and orang-utan conservation are linked; later she meets a scientist from the British Geological Survey to learn which parts of the UK power grid are most at risk during solar storms.
Cast your mind back to the awe-inspiring opening scenes of the James Bond film Casino Royale where Daniel Craig chases a man across rooftops, through buildings, in and out of windows and from the top of a giant crane. It's a stunning display of urban athleticism called Parkour, also known as free running.
The way these athletes move around their environment isn't dissimilar to the way orang-utans move around the rainforest canopy. This hasn't escaped the attention of orang-utan researcher Susannah Thorpe from the University of Birmingham, who's drawing on their movements to understand more about how orang-utans get around the forest.
Sue goes to Birmingham to meet Susannah and her colleagues to find out how this unusual research could help contribute towards orang-utan conservation.
Click the play button above to listen now.
A full text transcript is available.
Later Sue talks to Ciaran Beggan from the British Geological Survey to find out how geological knowledge is crucial for understanding how solar storms could affect the UK's power grid.
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