Built to Survive

Butter Media, 2022

Nature as we know it, took millions of years to evolve. Every animal and plant in this vast web of life has withstood countless generations of fighting and fleeing, hunting and hiding, feeding and breeding.  But each of these success stories flourish under the laws of the jungle, only the fittest survive, every creature under the sun must adapt or die.

Rewind 200 million years… Earth’s continents have broken up and Australia is drifting, alone and isolated. As it drifts, the climate changes and new ecosystems evolve. Australia’s animals have now embarked on a journey, unique from the rest of the world. Today, almost 90 percent of our mammal species, 90 percent of our reptiles and 45 percent of our bird species are found nowhere else on earth.  No wonder it’s now home to so many beautiful freaks!

Third generation Indigenous educator Phil Breslin is on a mission to reveal the Australian animals that are Built to Survive our diverse Aussie environments.  A teacher, adventurer and wildlife aficionado originally from Gimuy (Cairns) in Far North Queensland, he draws on the knowledge of science, First Nations peoples, and his own experience in the wild, to find out how animals have adapted to some of the world’s most extreme and diverse, natural environments.  Phil will travel to the most remote corners of the Australian continent in a bid to discover a world that most kids have only ever Googled.

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Episode 1 Wet and Wild Rainforests

In the heat of the rainforest, Phil reveals the survival adaptations of the elusive tree kangaroo, the colourful cassowary and the lethal scrub python.

Episode 2 Desert Dwellers

In the endless heat, Phil encounters Australia’s largest lizard - the perentie, our fastest flightless bird - the emu, and the bounding red kangaroo.

Episode 3 Wild Wild Wetlands

Phil Breslin ventures into Australia’s notorious swamp country for an encounter with a barramundi, a freshwater crocodile and a saltwater crocodile.

Episode 4 Coastal Critters

Phil Breslin heads along the coast for an encounter with a white bellied sea eagle, a sting ray and an estuarine stone fish.

Episode 5 Mud and Mangroves

Phil Breslin heads into the muddy mangroves for an encounter with a mud crab, a shovel-nosed ray and a mosquito, well a lot of mosquitoes.

Episode 6 Big Blue Ocean

Phil Breslin heads to sea for an encounter with a tiger shark, the graceful manta ray and a giant of the deep, the humpback whale.

Episode 7 Island Castaways

Phil Breslin leaves the mainland for some island hopping and encounters a green sea turtle, a pack of dingoes and the terrifying death adder.

Episode 8 Savannah Survivors

Phil Breslin heads out onto the savannah for an encounter with a Wedge-Tailed Eagle, a Coastal Taipan and a Frill-Necked Lizard.

Episode 9 Rivers of Life

Phil Breslin journeys down Australia’s river system by kayak and encounters a duck billed platypus, a long finned eel and a bull shark.

Episode 10 Woodland Warriors

If you go down to the woods today you’ll find Phil Breslin tracking down a yellow-bellied glider, an Eastern Brown Snake and a cuddly Koala.

Running Time
10 x 26 minutes

Production Company
Butter Media



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