A chimpanzee using a hammer and anvil to crack open oil palm nuts. Photo by Justine Evans

Planet Earth, the BBC/Discovery Channel series and companion book, traveled deep into caves and oceans, and high into the rainforest canopy and mountaintops, to reveal the majesty of our environment. On March 21, the Discovery Channel will premiere Life, an 11-part series narrated by Oprah Winfrey, that explores the diversity of life forms that share Planet Earth with us.

The companion book Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behavior parallels the series—each chapter corresponds to an episode of the show. Detailing the challenges that push creatures to evolutionary edge, it reveals the incredible adaptations that allow animals and plants to survive, and species to evolve and endure.

Learn the secret to longevity from a 4,740-year-old bristlecone pine, watch as clouds of monarch butterflies turn forests orange on their annual migration, see the regal horned lizard defend itself by squirting blood from its eyes, and a bottlenose dolphin’s ingenious fish-catching method. See the astonishing strategies that creatures large and small, from deep-sea proboscis worms and stalk-eyed flies to great white sharks and chimpanzees, have devised to escape the jaws of hungry predators, find food, and pass on their genes.

In this preview, Life co-authors and series producers Martha Holmes, Michael Gunton, and others take us behind the scenes of the show. For more videos, visit the Discovery Channel’s Life site.