Baby bumps

In an exciting new series from National Geographic, scientists take us on a never before seen journey into child development in the animal kingdom

By Mohamad Kadry

Published: Sun 19 Apr 2009, 9:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:59 PM

IT IS THE inherent nature of scientists to explore unchartered territory; it’s what they live for. But in a bizarrely fascinating new series from National Geographic, researchers take us deep into the wombs and fetuses of the animal kingdom to view child development like never before. We caught up with the series producer, Stuart Carter, to get his take on the network’s new must-see-womb-TV.

Can you tell us why you think National Geographic has been such a hugely popular network around the globe for so many years? What is it about its programming that people seem to connect with so emotionally?

I think the overall quality of programming on Nat Geo is fantastic — information delivered in a clear and visual form. This defines the channel and In the womb is a classic example — fascinating information delivered in a unique and never seen before style.

This new series In The Womb is compelling, to say the least. What can viewers expect from the series? In what ways will it be groundbreaking? What technologies were used in the programme’s creation?

The viewers will, I hope, be taken on a journey that is new and unique — inside the wombs of different animals to see how their fetuses develop and grow — it is one of the unseen miracles of nature. I think In The Womb is TV at its best — using the visual techniques of television to create the unseen world on the womb. We used numerous techniques — from 2D sonograms (getting them on a shark is not easy) that we are all familiar with, to 3D scans, to models, to graphics to a combination of all of these techniques — and of course no animals were hurt or distressed in the making of these films.

The amount of detail put into each programme is astounding. Can you tell us how much research scientists put in to give audiences an accurate picture of what the animal world looks like, particularly at a stage when they are not yet born?

They take many months to research. Sometimes it is amazing how little visual reference material there is about the different foetuses. On the series we had a team of our own researchers who reached out to a further 30 biologists and veterinary surgeons to find all the information. I think we genuinely found out new things and impressed even the specialists working with those animals. The early stages are quite easy as all animals look the same but then things get complicated and we have to gather thousands of reference images.

Programme details

In The Womb: Dogs

Sunday, April 19 at 22:00 on National Geographic

In The Womb: Extreme Animals

Sunday, April 26 at 22:00 on National Geographic

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