The Secrets of Adaptation

Animals and plants - they all need optimal living conditions to survive and reproduce. But how do elephants, whose skin is 50 times thicker than that of humans, deal with heat? What adaptations have plants acquired to deal with periods of drought? The secret lies in their anatomical and physiological adaptation mechanisms, which have developed over millions of years.

This short animal documentary "The Secrets of Adaptation" (32 min, english with english subtitle) shows adaptation mechanisms of some animals and plants in South Africa that enable them to survive in their specific habitats.

  • Guyslaine Thalmann
  • Guyslaine Thalmann
  • Guyslaine Thalmann
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    31 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    7,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Panasonic P2, Nikon D750
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Guyslaine Thalmann

Guyslaine Thalmann is a biologist from Zurich, Switzerland. After her studies she worked for an animal nature documentary show for the Swiss National TV where she gained a lot of experience in the production of nature documentaries. With the hope to produce her own nature show one day, she has been working as a biology teacher in Switzerland and Colombia for the last six years to profound her skills in biology. With her knowledge of biological and ecological interrelationships as well as the joy of telling and explaining, she has now fulfilled her dream and realized her first animal documentary film as part of a film course (Africa Media) in South Africa. The film "The Secrets of Adaptions" was finished in January, 2020.

Currently, she is working on a reportage on Ebola as well as reportage about an Italian woman working with orphan children, both in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The latter is to be broadcast this year on the Swiss National Television. Her dream is to make documentaries that are environmentally and socially of great importance.

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Director Statement

Since I was 15 years old, I have dreamed of making documentaries myself one day. As a biology teacher, I learned not only to understand biological relationships, but also to prepare exciting and entertaining lessons. However, I had to realize that the narratives in class and the storytelling in a film are nevertheless very different. I my documentary movie I would have liked to go into more detail, but I realized that this is not always possible. On the one hand, because it would be too complicated for many, and on the other hand, because I missed the pictures (e.g. microscopic pictures). The balance between telling a story and providing biological facts must be practiced further on. However, I am overjoyed to have realized my first animal documentary 20 years later.