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TV Highlights for Aug. 17-23

Nature: The Reptiles

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If the buzz over the new cheeseball action flick “Snakes on a Plane” is any judge, people are just as scared as ever of our cold-blooded cousins. And while humans might be all too willing to crush, smash, shoot, chop, burn and/or flatten the most cunning of all the beasts of the field, the truth is they’re actually some pretty fascinating animals, not to mention a couple million years older than even the most elderly of our mammalian ancestors. In this four-part series, “Nature” talks to experts about what makes reptiles tick, including facts about their brains, lifestyles, mating habits and physiology. In the first episode, experts talk about alligators and croco-diles. 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20,
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)


7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

While Snoopy made a running gag of dogfighting with the Bloody Red Baron, the historical truth of Germany’s Baron Manfred von Richthofen is no laughing matter. The most famous and deadly ace of World War I, von Richthofen was credited with 80 air kills when he was felled by a single bullet — fired from behind and below according to field surgeons — while pursuing an Allied Sopwith Camel biplane. Since that day, April 21, 1918, the question has lingered: Who killed the Red Baron? A soldier on the ground? A bullet fired from another plane? Possibly a misfire from his own guns? Historians and experts try to solve this nearly century-old mystery.


7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug 23
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

Unless you have your ashes scattered, get ingested by a shark, end up in a shallow grave or are spirited away to Mafiosi heaven intact like Jimmy Hoffa, chances are that after you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, your fleshy bits are going to wind up in a ceme-tery. Rife with superstition and ceremony, the modern boneyard has become something of a mix between hallowed ground and a city park, complete with room for Fluffy or Fido. Show host Rick Sebak takes viewers on a tour of some of the world’s most ex-pensive, quirky and storied underground real estate.

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