David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities

Seeing the Pattern

Series 1 - Episode 5 Seeing the Pattern

Tue 1 Dec 2:35am - 3am Yesterday
See Repeats
Sat 5 Dec, 3pm - 3:30pm Yesterday
Sat 5 Dec, 6pm - 6:30pm Yesterday


The purpose of colour and pattern in the natural world is the focus of this final part of an unfussy but enriching series. Are the zebra’s stripes for sexual attraction, to break up its outline or to deter flies? And what about the colouring of butterflies? Sir David addresses that last question from the Natural History Museum, which houses more than three million specimens.

As with previous instalments, there’s no pat answer; just fabulous stats and striking illustrations. The moment the sun’s warmth spurs monarch butterflies into flight, like a blizzard of leaves in autumn, is a fairy tale made real.


David Attenborough examines a zebra's stripes and the wings of a butterfly, as he continues to discover nature's evolutionary anomalies.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Attenborough
Executive Producer Stephen Dunleavy