Discovery Channel has just announced LIFE, an 11-part follow up to Planet Earth (one of my favorite documentaries) which shows the adaptability and diversity of life on earth, “revealing the most spectacular, bizarre and fascinating behaviors that living things have devised in order to thrive.” Premiering on the channel March 21, this is a must-see if you liked Planet Earth. Shot in HD and narrated by Oprah Winfrey, episodes are going to include such subjects as:
Creatures of the Deep: Deep-sea marine invertebrates are extraordinarily diverse. In this episode, carnivorous Humboldt squid change color like flashing neon signs and attack a school of fish in a coordinated hunting maneuver, while vast numbers of giant spider crabs emerge from the deep and congregate in the shallows to molt. Time lapse cameras capture starfish, sea urchins and monster worms devouring a seal carcass in an astonishing frenzy of predation. The female Pacific giant octopus scours the ocean floor for a safe place to hide and lay her eggs. For the next six months she does not leave her den, but guards her eggs, keeping them oxygenated, free from disease and safe from predators. Gradually she starves, and in her last act of devotion blows water over her eggs to help them hatch. Then, she dies.
Fish: Fish are the most varied and diverse backboned creatures on the planet. They range from pregnant males to fish that fly, to those that have a top speed faster than a cheetah — sailfish. In this episode, the brightly colored weedy sea dragon’s unusual mating and parenting methods are revealed, as is the peculiar convict fish, which shares its network of tunnels with thousands of offspring, who do the reclusive parents’ bidding. In Hawaii, gobies climb waterfalls – some more than 400 feet high – using a specialized disc that enables them to stick to vertical rocks. The sarcastic fringehead fiercely defends its territory from octopi and rival fringefish. And Japanese mudskippers spend many of their waking hours out of water – feeding, leaping and fighting for the attentions of the opposite sex.
Hunters and Hunted: The ability to learn from past experiences and develop novel solutions to problems has allowed mammals to find prey and avoid being preyed upon in every environment on Earth. In this episode, a mother orca steals elephant seal pups from a nursery pool, teaching her calf a brand new form of predation. Stoats learn through play how to become deadly killers: When they grow up, unassuming rabbits many times larger than stoats pay a hefty price. Star-nosed moles hunt underwater by using bubbles to smell their prey; greater bulldog bats hunt fish by using echolocation to detect ripples in the water; and squirrels confound rattlesnakes by rubbing themselves in discarded snakeskins.
Here are a few sneak peek videos of the upcoming series:
Personally, I cannot wait to see the entire series if it’s even 1/2 as well done as Planet Earth was! For more info, check out the LIFE website.
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