The Disappearance of the Great Hunt

Polar bears occupy a unique niche in the Arctic. They are extraordinary terrestrial hunters who prey on some of the largest aquatic animals found in the Arctic, including beluga whales and ringed seals, the main source of their diet. Blue Planet  portrays the increasing struggle that polar bears face: feeding their offspring and themselves in... Continue Reading →

The Masters of Sex-Change

In Blue Planet II, Episode 1: One Ocean, we are introduced to the Kobudai fish, an example of the sexual fluidity of fish. After 10 years, a large female Kobudai fish undergoes a several month-long transformation into a large, bulbous and aggressive male. These are known as sequential hermaphrodites, and in the Kobudai fish case,... Continue Reading →

Frigatebird, an Energy-Saving Opportunist

In Season 1, Episode 4 of the Hunt, Attenborough describes how Magnificent Frigatebirds, Fregata manificens, take the opportunity to snatch flyingfishes when these poor fishes glide over the sea to avoid predation by mahi-mahi, the dolphinfish. Interestingly, as seabirds, frigatebirds seldom touch the ocean, because their feathers are not waterproof [1]. However, they can travel... Continue Reading →

Dolphins with Tasers

In the video The Hunt, Attenborough describes how dolphins work together to concentrate fish together so that they can catch and feed on the fish more easily while preventing the fish from escaping the area. The video shows that dolphins not only use sonar to communicate with each other, but that they also use loud... Continue Reading →

Armored Up

“When caught out in the open and vulnerable, this octopus does something truly extraordinary,” David Attenborough narrates. In Blue Planet II, Season 1 Episode 5, the camera captures a strange and fascinating sight: a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) swiftly surrounds herself with a pile of shells, creating an impenetrable armor to shield herself from the... Continue Reading →

“Neckst” up for the main event…

There are many misconceptions regarding the physiology of one of the most bizarre denizens of Africa’s plains: giraffes. First and foremost amongst these misconceptions is the origin behind the giraffe’s elongated necks. Several different theories exist to explain this physiological oddity, though none of them have been conclusively proven as the primary reason for the... Continue Reading →

Chameleons: The Mood Rings of the Rain Forest

In episode 1 of David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities Season 1, one sees chameleons change their colors to either camouflage or communicate. Through multiple experiments, researchers observed a common sequence of defensive behaviors that the chameleons employed. They would first slowly turn behind the branch that they were perched upon to further hide themselves; then they... Continue Reading →

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