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Cheetahs On The Edge

Sunday, 25 November 2012


The votes were in a long time ago when it came to voting the cheetah one of the most magnificent animals on the planet.

However, you are about to see them in a way which has never been done before. This short film by Gregory Wilson is a combination of the resources of National Geographic and Cincinnati Zoo – using a Phantom camera they caught Cheetahs running at 1200 per second.

Not only that but they did it while driving at speed beside and in front of the cheetahs.  In this way they captured every shade and degree of the big cat’s movement even when it was moving at its top speed of sixty miles per hour.  The vast amount of frames per second then allowed the filmmakers to create one of the most breath-taking pieces of slow motion footage you are ever likely to see of a cheetah.

If you are interested about learning more about cheetah conservation, please visit Cause An Uproar.

The Love Bugs

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The diversity of insects on this planet is astonishing and should be a source of continual wonder for us all. It can only be hope that these incredible creatures can be left to survive and continue their species for many millennia to come. Of course they do everything we do - sometimes with much more aplomb! You may think this is Mother Nature at is rawest and you would be right, but ready or not - here we go!

Beneath the Surface

Saturday, 17 November 2012


This is a beautifully made piece of film by Sarosh Jacob. It captures life beneath the surface in a number of places throughout the world, starting with Bonaire and a mesmerizing school of fish. Next we go on to the Cayman Islands and its beautiful coral alongside the Kittiwake shipwreck. From there it is on to Socorro, Mexico and we get to see dolphins and whale sharks: next to Iceland and the Silfra Rift and lagoon. Finally we go to the Philippines, and witness clownfish anemone, schooling jacks, turtle and Palau to see the amazing sight that is Jellyfish Lake.

It is an almost bewildering array of animals and habitats. It is also for those of you who have emailed in specifically asking for more marine life and environments to be featured on Ark in Space. You’re quite right – over 70% of the planet is covered by water!

Man and Beast

Sunday, 11 November 2012


We have never had movie time on Ark in Space, but this is a brilliant point at which to start. Directed by Dante Ariola, it tells the story of Dr Alan Rabinowitz – who is one of the leading experts on big cats in the world. We are shown his childhood and his visit to the Bronx Zoo in his youth: yet Alan was different as a child.

He had a major stutter which meant that he found difficulty in expressing himself to people. Yet like many stutterers he discovered that when he spoke to animals, it disappeared.

In this beautifully made short film (which should really be made in to a full length movie)we follow his life through his formative years and in to adulthood where he overcomes his stutter and finally gets to study jaguars in the wild.  Today Dr Rabinowitz is CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit organization devoted to saving the world’s wild cat species.  He has devoted his lifetime to charting the world’s last wild spaces, with the aim of preserving wild territories and safeguarding homes, on a massive scale, for many of the world’s most threatened mammals.

The Banana Slug – Nature’s Giant Recycler

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Perhaps it is the mucus, perhaps the snake-like appearance or the habit of many species of slug to regard your garden and the carefully cultivated plants within as dinner – but the slug generally has a pretty bad press.

So, if you just groaned in horror at the picture above, you are in good company. A lot of people don’t like slugs. The sight of them in a garden has been known to turn even the most mild mannered in to mad mollusk murderers. Yet the giant Banana Slug, the second largest in the world (after the European Limax), has more than just its size and resemblance to a certain yellow fruit as a claim to fame. This is one of the unsung champions of the forest, for the banana slug only eats dead organic material which they then turn in to soil.

Point Reyes National Seashore


Nature is never too far away, even if you live in a highly populated place like California. Point Reyes National Seashore is somewhere that offers the visitor vast tracts of wilderness and incredibly diverse wildlife.

It is particularly noted for being an Ule Elk reserve and the wintering grounds of the Elephant Seal.  This wonderful video by Matt Brass explores this sublime and peaceful stretch of US coastline.

Got Milk?

These fours little guys were in a cat shelter and didn’t know quite know what to expect when they received some human visitors. What they did know, of course, is how to look endearing!  It seems that the one with the red collar had already found a home.  Let’s hope that the rest of this cute quartet found somewhere to go too!

Image Credit Flickr User Old Skool Kora

The Pink Underwing Moth: Skull-Faced Caterpillar of Australia’s Rainforest

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Nature never ceases to astonish.  This is the larva of the Pink Underwing Moth, an endangered species which lives in the subtropical rainforest below about 600m elevation in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland. It has evolved a remarkable set of patterns to ward off potential predators.

A giant set of eyes would, you might think, be enough to warn off a bird looking for an easy lunch. Yet this caterpillar goes one step further.  It appears to have a set of teeth which could rip any possible attacker to shreds. Why, then, is it so rare? You might think that with this sort of natural protection the species would be thriving everywhere.

Amung Feedjit