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Thursday 28 April 2011

The Sanderling is a small wader. It is a circumpolar Arctic breeder, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to South America, South Europe, Africa, and Australia. It is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches.

Oh and it is also a very funny bird to watch. They often stand on one leg and hop along like Long John Silver. Plus although they congregate close to the sea they really don’t seem to want to get wet so every time a wave comes in, away they hop and run!

This marvelous piece of filmmaking was created by Javier Salinas Laguna. It’s a gorgeous piece of film and the music ("Playful by the dozen" by Daniel Pemberton) is particularly well chosen.

Otters Beat Up a Gibbon

Friday 22 April 2011

Yes, you read correctly. Otters and gibbons are not normally associated with inter-species rivalry but strange things can go in those places which we refer to as zoos.

Here, Zagreb Zoo is the scene of an encounter between a gibbon – who just seems to be minding his own business – and two pesky otters, seemingly intent on ruining the gibbon’s day.

Fortunately the gibbon has one thing up his sleeve – height. Swing away, you funky gibbon!

My Father's Garden

Sometimes the world can seem very large – at other times miniscule.  This amazing short film plays on both of those feelings.

Mirko Faienza shot his father’s garden in Bologna, Italy, with all the requisite wildlife.  It is all shot in gorgeous colors and the attention to detail is quite amazing. 

Add to that the fact that the music suits it so very well and you have six minutes of bliss!

Danger in Paradise

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Spring is a wonderful time and it can be experienced in so many different ways.  There is nothing quite like taking in the beauty of a spring day from the top of a hill, just to take in the panorama. 

On the other hand, if you look closely there are whole worlds beneath your feet.

This charming short film does just that and focuses in on one plant pot. After a harsh winter, life begins to stir again.  However, around any corner danger may lurk!

Hats off to Gunther Machu who made this film and captured numerous insects very up close and personal.

The Luminous Deep

Monday 18 April 2011

The Luminous Deep is a short animated documentary made by Kevin Adams and Amy Scott-Murray, two final-year Animation students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

The fact that it was made by two undergraduates makes it even cooler in my opinion – the quality of the animation is awesome, particularly when you realize that their budget was hardly Spielbergian. The documentary was made with the assistance of researchers at Aberdeen University's Oceanlab.

During the short animation, we learn the fate of a dead whale that sinks to the darkness of the seabed, and how its carcass can come alight by nourishing a huge interconnected community of scavengers and predators. Most of these creatures produce glowing lights that researchers theorize would create a brilliant firework display in the abyssal night.

The Mystery of Mad Horse Disease on Easter Island

Sunday 17 April 2011

This is a sad story, but it could have a happy ending. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth. In the 1860s horses and cows were introduced by missionaries. The few thousand people who live there now depend on the animals for transportation for food. However, recently some of the horses have become emaciated, slowly dying.

For the past twenty years the horses had been getting sick with what the islanders called Mad Horse Disease (aka Caballa Loco). No one knew where it came from or what caused it. He made a discovery – that the livers of horses had been poisoned. Then, a holiday visit to the island by Jonathan Arzt, a veterinary, led to a discovery which could mean a solution.

This film was directed, shot, written and edited by Laura J Boyd.

Breaking the Law

Saturday 16 April 2011

I am trying to avoid a royal theme, what with the media saturation of the royal wedding between William and Kate coming up, but although the Queen’s favorite dogs are corgis, I would be very much surprised to see one of hers acting in this manner!  It’s funny but I always think of corgis as sedate little animals – I stand corrected!

Add a soundtrack – Breaking the Law by Judas Priest and you have a short, but perfect record of one small pooch’s attempt to usurp authority and do things his way.  I just hope the owners of the golf course don’t find out anytime soon!

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