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Season 1 Episode 26

Food/Fuel: Animal Food

Aired Unknown Feb 04, 1980 on PBS

Episode Recap

Trini, Lisa and Marc criticize the guinea pigs a friend loaned for them to take care of while he is away.

Benson star Robert Guilliame does the celebrity tease. He lifts the cover of a serving tray to find raw meat.

Trini decides the workshop should keep a permanent pet. She welcomes her friend Bashkim to the workshop. He has brought a wolf called Maria. Bashkim says he raised Maria since she was a pup. It's really no different from training a dog. He also explains that wolves are shy creatures.

In a segment that also appeared in the episode called Growth/Decay: Sex and Seeds, Lisa is with veterinarian Liz Russo at the Bronx Zoo. The sequences used here are all about feeding baby birds and elephants.

Bashkim says that wild carnivores, such as wolves, eat whenever they can. Lisa reveals she is a herbivore, like rhinos.

FILM INSERT: Wolves on the lookout for deer. The number of calves in a wolf pack depends on the abundance of deer for that time and place.

Lisa gives leftovers to Maria the wolf. Bashkim details the wolf's incisors. Trini recovers the longhorn skull from the desert and points out the molars (grinding teeth). She tells Marc that plants are the root of diets for all animals. Bashkim explains that the soybean in dog food contains proteins. He also says that wolves start by eating a prey's stomach, loaded with plant material.

ANIMATION: The shrew must eat its own weight in food each day. How much would a shrew eat if he was a person?

Back at the workshop, Bashkim says that wild wolves forage for whatever food they can find.

FILM INSERT: In a segment that also appeared in Growth/Decay: Decay, Mzima Spring in Kenya's Tsamo National Park is an oasis for large groups of animals. The spring houses a massive food chain, and it all centers around the hippopotamus. Hippos spend a day in the water after a night's grazing. Once a hippo is in the spring to relieve itself, the remains of such grazing are a large link in the food chain. Half the film shows the relationships of Kenyan animals within the food chain.

Bashkim tells all that he goes around with Maria teaching people that, by understanding a wolf's behavior, they can understand a dog's behavior. But no wild animal makes a good pet.

THE BLOODHOUND GANG: The Case of the Educated Pig

Repeat of a segment first used in the episode called Noisy/Quiet: Production & Processing of Sound. Soapy Suds is an old theater producer. (He is dressed exactly as he did when playing Sam Breakstone in the sour cream commercials.) An apparent country bumpkin named Miss Grungy wants to sell him and his daughter a pig called Rosey, which can apparently squeal out the answer to multiple-choice questions. Vikki has sent Zach out to shadow Miss Grungy, claiming she has a flat tire to fix. Soapy Suds and Ricardo have tested Rosey, which squeals at the right response. Zach calls Vikki to tell her Miss Grungy is looking through reference books in her truck. Vikki feels at Rosey's collar as she asks a question (which Rosey gets wrong). Sensing she has learned the trick, Vikki signals to Ricardo to whistle into the crown on Rosey's head. Zach sees Miss Grungy wince and take the hearing aid out of her ear. None of this changes Soapy Suds's mind. He is ready to pay Miss Grungy $200 for Rosey. Miss Grungy accepts, but she will not include the crown or collar. Vikki breaks in to reveal the swindle. The crown has a hidden microphone, allowing Miss Grungy to hear everyone's questions in her "hearing aid." And the collar gives electric shocks to make Rosey squeal. Miss Grungy is about to leave when a police officer apprehends her.

Lisa and Trini say good-bye to Maria. They go back to thinking what kind of pet they want when Marc makes a suggestion – in a werewolf head.

Season 1 Episodes

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Ep 65
Crowded/Uncrowded: Huma...
Ep 64
Crowded/Uncrowded: Down...
Ep 63
Crowded/Uncrowded: Cont...
Ep 62
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Ep 61
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Ep 60
Big/Small: How Big is Big?
Ep 59
Big/Small: Volume & Eff...
Ep 58
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Ep 57
Big/Small: Animal Habitats
Ep 56
Big/Small: Animal Sizes...
Ep 55
Surfaces: The Atmospher...
Ep 54
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Ep 53
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Ep 52
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Ep 51
Surfaces: Protection
Ep 50
Order/Disorder: Sum of ...
Ep 49
Order/Disorder: Disordered
Ep 48
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Ep 47
Order/Disorder: The Bod...
Ep 46
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Ep 45
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Ep 44
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Ep 43
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Ep 42
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Ep 41
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Ep 40
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