While it’s nowhere nearly as large as the world’s largest penguin, the 16″ long, 10-pound frog known as Beelzebufo was still an impressive creature. PBS Eons explains the few things we know about this giant, blobby amphibian that was native to Madagascar.
THE BEST Nature
This BBC Earth nature series explores how our planet provides the ideal habitat for life to flourish, from volcanoes forming land to the endless movement of oceans to the importance of weather and climate. But as host David Attenborough explains, humans have disrupted that fragile balance and need to take action.
Lighthearted nature show host Zefrank teamed up with research scientist Dr. Kurt Schwenk on this special episode about snakes and lizards. Along the way, you’ll get up close and personal with a variety of long and stretchy tongues, and learn all about their unique evolutionary traits.
Back in 2015, Faroe Islands doom metal band Hamferð performed a moody, acoustic version of their track Deyðir varðar while a solar eclipse played out behind their backs. They timed the live performance perfectly and managed to resist the urge to turn around as day turned to night and back. (Thanks Kartin!)
The PBS Nature series Spy in the Wild 2 used hidden cameras to get gets up close and personal with a polar bear. Watch in awe as the majestic white beast wanders the ice and takes a dip in the chilly waters. If it weren’t for the risk of hypothermia and being eaten by a bear, we’d love to join him for a swim.
Nature photographers John Downer Productions flew a realistic, robotic hummingbird deep into a forest packed with hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies. The drone captured amazing footage of the swarm as they awoke from their long winter’s nap in Mexico. From the BBC Series Spy in the Wild.
Most animals need a certain amount of salt and calcium in their diets to survive. Because their need for these minerals is so strong, these wild goats known as ibexes are willing to risk it all and climb the sheer face of a dam so they can get in some licks of its salt-covered rocks. From the BBC series Forces of Nature.
Researchers in London, England used a fascinating method to view the aerodynamic properties of flight. Using helium-filled soap bubbles, they were able to visualize the vortices created by birds’ wings, and made interesting observations about the role their tail feathers play in flight. Details here.
Fish represent one of the largest and most diverse collections of species on the planet. But are you better off as a goldfish or a catfish? A flying fish or a flounder? TierZoo looks at handful of these popular underwater vertebrates, and how they’ve had to adapt to survive in the marine meta.
Nature photographer Lothar Lenz captured this incredible macro slow-motion video of hornets in motion, as they fly around, sip water, and live their lives near his home in the Eifel region of Germany. The crystal clear sounds of the buzzing insects are especially immersive with headphones on.
Famed nature documentarian Sir David Attenborough looks back at his more than 90 years on Earth, along with some of his greatest experiences. Along the way, he describes the dramatic changes he’s seen in our planet’s ecosystem during his lifetime, and offers solutions to help save our planet. Drops 10.4.2020 on Netflix.
Despite the massive number of rodents alive today, none of them have horns. But millions of years ago, some did. The so-called “horned gopher” had a pair of bony protrusions on its head, making it look pretty silly if you ask us. PBS Eons explains their purpose, and how they might still be useful if rodents had them today.
Diver and underwater photographer Catrin Pichler introduces us the costasiella kuroshimae, also known as the “leaf slug” or “leaf sheep.” These tiny and unusual marine creatures bridge the gap between plant and animal, as they perform photosynthesis by storing the chloroplasts in the algae they feed on.
Among the various residents of the San Diego Zoo are a number of delightfully pink flamingos. For fun, the zoo shared footage of the lanky birds as they poke their heads beneath the water in search of food. The flamingos have filtering plates in their mouths which sort out tasty morsels like tiny shrimp and other small critters.
Chip Channel spends most of his time restoring rusty old toys. He also has an ant farm. Watch as these industrious little harvester ants start out with a clean slate of sand, and proceed to build out a complex maze of tunnels for their colony to call home. Everything you see here happened in 24 hours.
Pterosaurs were one of the stranger parts of Earth’s evolutionary journey. Despite being able to fly, these giant winged creatures were reptiles. TierZoo turns their attention to these unusual avians to determine where they fit into the meta, and what sort of advantages their build offered them before they went extinct.
Kurzgesagt introduces us to the oecophylla weaver ant. These long-legged insects dwell in tropical jungles, building incredible colonies that spread upwards and sideways between trees. They’re not only incredibly industrious, they’re fierce warriors and defenders of their kingdoms.
Before his passing in 2019, scientist and photographer Andreas Kay captured some amazing imagery of the diverse lifeforms in Ecuador. We especially enjoyed this slow motion, macro footage of a tortoise beetle as it opens its wings and lifts off. He also rigged up a spherical treadmill to shoot footage of insects as they walk.
Hummingbirds are most amazing creatures on the planet. Having to stay airborne for the vast majority of their lives, their tiny hearts thump up to 1260 beats per second as they buzz around sipping twice their body weight each day in nectar. ZeFrank offers up a few more interesting facts about these insect-sized birds.
After introducing us to the charming little globular springtail, biologist Dr. Adrian Smith AntLab wanted to capture slow-motion footage of other jumping insects. In this fascinating video, you’ll see how leafhoppers, treehoppers, planthoppers, and froghoppers spring up off of the ground and take flight.
Brothers Kevin and Páraic McGloughlin teamed up with a talented group of artists to create this hypnotic short film that offers a unique perspective on the impact of development on our landscape. Sound by Max Cooper, fluid art by Roman Hill, Thomas Blanchard, and Oilhack, drone photography by Colm Hogan.
We’ve always had it in our minds that snakes stuck to the ground. But it turns out that some of these reptiles can climb trees and actually glide through the air. Nature Video offers a look at this unusual behavior and how a tree snakes’s undulating movement improves its aerodynamics.
The nature film experts at John Downer Productions show off another one of their animatronic camera spies. As an eagle drone flies overhead, a robot turtle on the ground infiltrates a bale of 20,000 olive ridley sea turtles coming ashore on a Costa Rican beach to lay their eggs. From “The Tropics” episode of Spy in the Wild 2.
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