Lecture 5 – Pushing the limits

From hot arid deserts to the depths of the deep sea, the earth possesses some inhospitable environments; yet life still finds a way to survive.

Living in the extremes can put significant pressure on living organisms – if it’s too hot you run the risk of dehydrating and if it’s too cold there’s always the risk that you might freeze. So how do animals manage to survive in these seemingly uninhabitable locations?

In her final Christmas Lecture, Nancy Rothwell reveals some of the incredible adaptations that animals have evolved to cope with life in the extremes. From anti-freeze blood to double-layered fur, each animal has found its own way to overcome the extremes.

We also learn what it takes for humans to survive in these locations – from the perilously cold conditions confronted by Antarctic explorers to the extreme forces experienced by fighter pilots. 


Being human




Dame Nancy Rothwell



All lectures in the series