NATURE’s Life in Death Valley takes viewers into the simmering cauldron of one of the world’s most extreme environments.
From 93 million miles away, the sun fixes its heated gaze on the scorched desert expanse of Death Valley National Park — the hottest, driest place in North America. But this is no typical desert. Here, breathtaking mountains rise two miles above sprawling salt flats, and mighty sand dunes dance alongside deep craters. Nowhere else is a land so exquisite in its beauty yet brutal in its extremes.
In this ultimate testing ground, the rules are simple — adapt or perish. Fascinating desert dwellers have ingenious ways to outwit Mother Nature in their quest to survive. Tiny antelope squirrels lay with their bellies to the ground in order to purge their bodies of excess heat, while jackrabbits use their long ears to cool themselves.
Whereas the animals appear to do everything in their power to avoid the extreme conditions of Death Valley, many visitors are drawn to the park for the sheer challenge. Top athletes flirt with their own mortality in what has become known as the toughest footrace on the planet, the Badwater Ultramarathon. This 135-mile road race snakes through the valley during the cruel blaze of summer.
In Death Valley, things are never quite as they seem. Beneath its parched surface lies one of America’s largest aquifer systems. Rare access into this astonishing, water-laden underworld brings viewers into a secret realm. Here, a team of biologists works to protect the critically endangered Devil’s Hole pupfish, a species that has lived in this watery cavern since the last Ice Age.
Explore the mystique and the majesty of the largest park in the continental United States on Life in Death Valley.
Online content for Life in Death Valley was originally posted September 2004.
Production Credits Print
Director and Cinematographer
Field Sound and Camera Assistant
Sound Post Production
High Definition Post Production
DIGITAL POST LTD
Courtesy, National Park Service
Death Valley National Park
HELINET CINEMA SOLUTIONS
Special Thanks to
Death Valley National Park, National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort
and Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Gordon Tubbs, Canon U.S.A.
Rich Eilers, Canon U.S.A.
Steven Ferrand, Nevada Biological Consulting, LLC.
Bob Zahn, BVR, Ltd.
Dr. Thomas R. Prentice, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Paula Messina, San Jose State University
Shawn Goodchild, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Brian Hobbs, Nevada Department of Wildlife
Chris Kostman, Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon
Kiehl's Since 1851
Innovision Optics, Inc.
Sun Precautions, Inc.
Frank D'Agnese & Grady O'Brien
Earth Knowledge, Inc.
Executive in Charge of Production
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
Executive In Charge
A co-production between Thirteen/WNET New York, and Natural History New Zealand Limited
This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York,
which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2004 Educational Broadcasting Corporation
DANIEL B. GREENBERG
Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Anthony Chapman, Director of Interactive & Broadband. Bob Adleman, Business Manager. Tamara E. Robinson, Vice President & Director, Programming