Monday, September 7, 2009

Blue Planet - Coral Seas

Watch Documentary; Coral Seas


Coral Seas
Broadcast 17 October 2001, the next instalment is about coral reefs, which are so crowded that they play host to a perpetual battle for space, even among the coral itself. It starts life as a larva that becomes a polyp. Having multiplied, it hardens into a limestone skeleton and grows to form a reef. As the community flourishes, animals develop relationships with one another and such a place can feature a huge variety of ocean life. Although corals feed nocturnally on plankton, sunlight is vital because even though they are animals, each contains millions of single-celled algae. This in turn is the favoured sustenance of the humphead parrotfish, whose jaws are so powerful that it erodes much of the reef into fine sand. Algae also grows on the top of the reef and a battle for grazing rights between shoals of powder blue and convict tangs is shown, the former being initially overwhelmed by the latter's weight of numbers before regaining the upper hand. The night-time hunting of a marbled ray alerts other predators and a group of whitetip reef sharks moves in, from which few are safe. Several breeding strategies are examined, including the acrobatic habits of brown surgeonfish and the colourful courtship of the flamboyant cuttlefish. Humpback whales are visitors to the reef and males establish their seniority by the loudness and strength of their song. Being fixed to the seabed, corals must synchronise their reproduction with lunar phases and the rising spring temperatures.

Watch Blue Planet - Coral Seas



About Blue Planet Series;

The series took almost five years to make, involving nearly 200 filming locations. The fact that most of the ocean environment remains a mystery presented the production team with many challenges. Besides witnessing animal behaviour for the first time, the crew also observed some that were new to science. The producers were helped by marine scientists all over the world with state of the art equipment.

Blue whales — whose migration routes were previously unknown — were located by air, after some of the animals had been given temporary radio tags. The camera team spent three years on standby, using a microlight to land on the water nearby when they finally caught up with the creatures in the Gulf of California. The open ocean proved more difficult and over 400 days were invested in often unsuccessful filming trips. After six weeks, the crew chanced upon a school of spinner dolphins, which in turn led them to a shoal of tuna. Off Mexico, the behaviour of a flock of frigatebirds guided the cameramen to a group of sailfish and marlin: the fastest inhabitants of the sea. Near the coast of Natal in South Africa, the team spent two seasons attempting to film the annual sardine run, a huge congregation of predators such as sharks and dolphins that assembles to feast on the migrating fish by corralling them into 'bait balls'. Meanwhile, in Monterey Bay, orca were documented trapping grey whales and killing a calf. Filming in the deep ocean required the use of special submersibles. One of them enabled the crew to dive over a mile into the San Diego trench, where the carcass of a 40-ton grey whale had been placed to attract a large variety of scavengers.[4]

Upon its first transmission on BBC One, over 12 million people watched the series and it regularly achieved an audience share of over 30%.

Link; Wikipedia

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