Posts Tagged ‘wildlife documentary’

Following the Madagascar theme of the currently running BBC documentary (Wed BBC2 8pm), today’s photo is a video clip of one of Madagascar’s unique animals, the streaked tenrec Hemicentetes semispinosus.

Tenrecs are Madagascar’s equivalent of a hedgehog or a shrew. Among the streaked tenrec’s strange quirks are the fact that it keeps its family together by communicating using specialised quills (see the clip below) – and it needs to, because tenrecs have the highest number of offspring in one litter of any mammal… up to 32 babies all at once!

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I’ve been catching up today on the BBC’s latest documentary series ‘Madagascar’ on iplayer. As the name suggests, David Attenborough is exploring the island of Madagascar in a three-part series.

As usual with the BBC the episode is full of beautiful photography with sweeping vistas and rare species. 80% of Madagascar’s plant and animal species are endemic – meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world – including the 80 species of lemur inhabiting Madagascar’s various ecosystems, and some really weird and wonderful looking bugs and reptiles such as the pygmy chameleon who is the world’s smallest reptile and is about the size of a passing ant.

I also always enjoy the BBC’s ‘behind the scenes’ sections that explain how the wildlife photographers got their footage – it’s incredible the lengths these men and women go to, and what they will put themselves through, to get a 30 seconds recording of a rare animal performing some behaviour never previously seen.

Highly recommended series – watch it if you can.

BBC2 – Madagascar

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Today the BBC’s ‘Horizon’ programme focuses on the recently-finished census of our planet’s seas and oceans. Ten years of research by over 2,700 scientists collaborating from 80 countries around the globe, have lead to discoveries of more than 1,200 new species and the rediscovery of others thought to have gone extinct years ago – 50 million years ago in the case of one shrimp. New marine habitats and ecosystems were found, as well as a greater insight into the state of the world’s oceans and the effects on marine life today. I’ll certainly be tuning in to BBC2 at 9pm tonight – after all, you can’t go wrong when David Attenborough’s narrating!!

Further Info:

BBC Horizon Programme Info
Census of Marine Life: A decade of discovery – official website 
BBC News: “Marine census publication marks ‘decade of discovery’ “

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