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Wings of Life - Monarch Butterflies

Sunday 25 June 2017

Watch thousands of monarch butterflies as they migrate to Mexico. From Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee, comes Wings Of Life -- a stunning adventure full of intrigue, drama and mesmerizing beauty. Narrated by Meryl Streep, this intimate and unprecedented look at butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, bats and flowers is a celebration of life, as a third of the world's food supply depends on these incredible -- and increasingly threatened -- creatures. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg, Wings of Life utilizes riveting high-speed, closer-than-close filmmaking techniques to showcase in spectacular detail these unsung heroes of our planet.

When Caimans Collide

About 10 million individual yacare caimans exist within the Brazilian pantanal, representing what is quite possibly the largest single crocodilian population on Earth.  Every year as the summer progresses aggregate in small bays that get smaller day after day. It is a very difficult period and there are many fights over territory. When the water runs out, the caimans reduce they metabolism and remain buried under the mud, waiting for the upcoming rains. Those who survive, begin the mating season, where males perform a real water dance, vibrating their bodies to attract females, and enjoy the abundance of fish brought by the waters returning to flood the Pantanal.  The Director of Photography of this exquisite look at a little known species of caiman was Cristian Dimitrius.

An Alphabet of Animals

Sunday 18 June 2017

We thought we would have a little fun and create a list of what we think are the best and most unusual collective nouns for animals. Of course, in the tradition of Ark in Space we are including the best images we could find to illustrate them. You can go check them out on the internet we did not make these up! So, here they are - an A-Z of collective nouns, a veritable alphabet of animals.

A byke of ants
We are not sure what it means, however.  Yet it was still more interesting than the word we would normally use - swarm

A cauldron of bats

Our Planet: Supercut of BBC Natural History Programming

The BBC make some of the best natural history documentaries in the world and this supercut by Art of the Film does something extraordinary – it takes the highlights of twelve series of BBC programming and boils them down to 20 minutes of stupendous, jaw-dropping footage. As well as leaving one in awe of the splendour of our planet it serves as a reminder that our Ark in Space is a fragile thing and needs to be protected at all costs.  Go and grab a drink - you're going to be in front of this screen for the next 20.

Animal Anomalies: The Dewlap

The most intriguing physical attribute of an anole (ubiquitous, tree-dwelling lizards of the New World tropics) is its dewlap.  Used to communicate to potential mates (and to identify members of its own species).  Award winning production company Day’s Edge have created this marvellous short documentary about the dewlap, focusing on the work of Dr Manuel Leal, a biologist at the University of Missouri.  He poses a question - if two species of anoles have the same dewlap (at least to our eyes) then how do they tell each other apart? The answer is an eye-opener to say the least.

A Leap of Faith: 10 Ducklings Jump!

Saturday 10 June 2017

High rise living has its advantages when you are a duckling but once you’re hatched you have to join the world on the ground at some point and that’s sooner rather than later.  In this video by Tara Tanaka, 10 one-day old Black-bellied Whistling Ducks take the leap of faith to join their parents below.  They all manage it – although the slow motion dives we see here might make you wonder: grace, it seems, come later in life to these ducklings!

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