The companion book to David Attenborough's new nature series is out, and would you just look at the cuteness 4 months ago

The companion book to David Attenborough's new nature series is out, and would you just look at the cuteness

"Let us hope that our increasing understanding of the way nature functions will at last persuade people everywhere to care for the animals that evolved on this planet's continents and allow them the space they need to live in the particular world that once was theirs."

Those are the stirring words of David Attenborough in the introduction to a new book, Seven Worlds One Planet. The book explores the seven continents that make up our planet, and the landscapes, climates, planet and animals that are unique to each of them.

It's illustrated with stunning photographs, taken during the filming of a new BBC television series of the same name. As the crews made their way across South America, Australasia, North America, Antarctica, Asia, Africa and Europe, they captured incredible displays from Mother Nature – as well as a host of animals so cute that we can't cope.

A group of Adele penguins look nervously out to sea for signs of leopard seals or orcas

When it comes to exotic displays of nature, we tend to think much further afield than home, but one surprising element of the book is the diversity of wildlife that can be found in Europe. Did you know, for example, that there are wolves in Italy and bears in Finland?

The series producers, Jonny Keeling and Scott Alexander – who also compiled the book – say that they hope the series will celebrate the diversity of life across the seven continents, and also illustrate the many challenges faced by animals in an increasingly urbanised world.

Hundreds of fin whales feeding on swarms of krill in the Southern Ocean

The TV series, currently showing on the BBC, is narrated by Sir David himself, it's his voice you can imagine as you read through coffee-table sized companion book. The photographs alone are enough to make it a perfect Christmas present for the animal lover in your life.

When walking to and from the sea, king penguins must run the gauntlet of elephant seals

Seven Worlds One Planet by Jonny Keeling and Scott Alexander is published by BBC Books in hardback at €27.99