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Nat Geo Greenlights Programming

In the wake of record first-quarter ratings, the National Geographic Channel says it has given a green light to eight new and returning shows that range from smart snakes and dwarfism to why we went to war in Iraq.

Inside Extraordinary Humans (Authentic Entertainment), comprises four, hour episodes that look at dwarfism, gigantism, obesity, and conjoined twins.

The hour special, Road to War, promises a "a comprehensive inside look at how and why we went to war in Iraq," including interviews with White House and CIA officials.

Looking at war from both a historical and personal perspective will be three hour specials, Battle Scene Investigation, which will deconstruct 24-hour periods in battles in the Civil War, WW II and Vietnam.

Animal Genius is a three-hour tour of the hidden intelligence of dogs, hogs and snakes.

Two as-yet-unnamed hour engineering specials will look at highways and sewers, while the channel takes a musclebound look at the world in two, hour-long, Science of Superhuman Strength and Science of Steriods specials.

The channel will also produce six new episodes of prison series Lockdown and 10 episodes of the fourth season of Naked Science.

The National Geographic Channel Channel is a joint venture of  National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks.