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  • Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Welcome to the “Plants are Cool Too!” series supported by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) and hosted by Dr. Chris Martine. Here we will be posting all episodes of the series in reverse chronological order (last-in-first-out) but each program is designed to be viewed independently. Please stay tuned. Plants unfortunately get less attention from wildlife filmmakers. This is most probably due to a narration problem. When we see animals in a film we more or less can interpret what […]

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  • Carolina Anole Lizard Changing Color

    Carolina Anole Lizard Changing Color

    You can watch the gradual color change in this Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) from green to brown over 4 mins.   Summer of 2011 was drier than usual in Athens, GA. Annual rainfall (37.11 inches) was lower than the 1981-2010 average (46.66 inches). The month of July was particularly hot. Average monthly temperature was 81.9 F (above 1895-2012 average of 80.0 F). Reptiles in such conditions have a rather fast metabolism and burn calories fast. This female lizard was a […]

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  • Ants Defending Plants

    Ants Defending Plants

    Plant eaters are called herbivores and they pose a threat for plants. Understandably, nobody would like to get eaten. In order to prevent tissue loss and damage from herbivores plants have evolved defensive adaptations such as hard to digest tissues and poisonous chemicals. Some plants however, have evolved a different solution. Plants can use nectar as drivers of beneficial behaviors such as pollination and protection from herbivores. Nectar is an attractive fluid for many animals. It is a rich calorie […]

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  • The Life Cycle of a Mosquito – Prelinger Archives (1947)

    The Life Cycle of a Mosquito – Prelinger Archives (1947)

    The mosquito-transmitted disease malaria is killing around 600.000 people people every year world wide alone. The year 2010 was a record peak with 1.2 million deaths. Mosquitos transmit so many diseases that they are arguably the most dangerous animals on Earth. They even act as vectors in transmitting parasites including the Human bot fly. The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are a nuisance […]

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  • Archerfish Hunting Using Water Jet – Black Lagoon – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    Archerfish Hunting Using Water Jet – Black Lagoon – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    The Archerfish posseses one of the most complex feeding behavior among fishes. Complex feeding behaviors involving proto-tool use are common among marine fishes. Scientists have noticed such behavior in many wrasses, in black spotted tuskfish, (Choerodon schoenleinii) from the Great Barrier Reef; in yellowhead wrasses (Halichoeres garnoti) off the coast of Florida; and in a sixbar wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke) in an aquarium setting. For instance, wrasses crunch sea urchins against corals and use anvils to smash food into more gulpable […]

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  • Hotel Heliconia – Phil Savoie (2001)

    Hotel Heliconia – Phil Savoie (2001)

    Filmed on location by Philip Savoie and his filming crew at La Selva Biological Field Station in Costa Rica, this documentary provides a great crossection of life weaved around the Heliconia (Heliconiaceae) plant. Plants provide an effective template to convey many interrelated natural history observations. However they rarely become center of attention in wildlife documentaries (but see Plants R Cool 2!). Unlike documentaries jumping from one continent to the other following a global theme, Hotel Heliconia follows a very detailed […]

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  • Brown Bears during Salmon Run in Katmai National Park – Live from Alaska

    Brown Bears during Salmon Run in Katmai National Park – Live from Alaska

    [Video streams have no sound and will be off air when it’s night time in Alaska] (Ursus arctos) are Caniform (dog-like) mammals. Except the polar bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) who is strictly a carnivore all other brown bears (Grizzly, Kodiak and Siberian brown bear) are omnivores and biologically are the same species. This means they can interbreed when species barriers gets lifted. As Arctic sea ice disappears polar bear habitat shrinks and thus they are forced to move southern latitudes […]

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  • Anole Lizard Aggression – Neil Losin (2011)

    Anole Lizard Aggression – Neil Losin (2011)

    We humans rarely have punch ups with each other to decide who will mate. However, an anole lizards life is frequently interrupted by brawls. Neil Losin is an evolutionary biologist from UCLA who studies aggressive behavior among anole lizards. Anole lizards not only have punch ups among each other (intraspecific aggression) but they also have such interactions with other species (interspecific aggression). This is when things get even more interesting. In less than 10 minutes this documentary outlines the research […]

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  • Bowerbird’s Grand Performance – Life Story – BBC

    Bowerbird’s Grand Performance – Life Story – BBC

    With its retina punishing feather colors this is a spectacular solo mating dance performed by a male bowerbird advertising his male qualities. The independent dilation and contraction of the pupils is a striking part of the choreography at the beginning of the performance. In Humans male brains perceive dilated eyes as a signal for sexual readiness of females. Seeing the exaggerated form here should make us curious about our “inner reptile” since birds and mammals have evolved from independent reptilian […]

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  • Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Director of the KarsArdahan documentary is an emerging Turkish documentarist Alkım Ün. In 2009 he received an award in Boston Turkish Film Festival with this production. Alkım Ün has a degree in biology education and has a particular talent in “reading the landscape” with the eyes of a biologist. Just before the project he had made lengthy observations on wildlife of the region. Kars – Ardahan Plateau is a biologically and geologically distinct region of Turkey. It sits between two […]

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  • Conserving Colombia’s Cotton-Top Tamarin – Federico Pardo (2011)

    Conserving Colombia’s Cotton-Top Tamarin – Federico Pardo (2011)

    About the size of a squirrel, the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is a New World primate. It has a characteristic shock of white hair on it’s head. Males and females do not vary in size (not sexually dimorphic). The cotton-top tamarin was declared endangered in 1973 following the exportation of 20,000-40,000 tamarins to the United States for use in biomedical research. Cotton-top tamarins were found to spontaneously develop colorectal cancer and for this reason served as an ideal model for […]

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  • A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    Ecofocus Film Festival of Athens GA featured a number of short documentaries including Hidden Rivers of Appalachia filmed on location in Conesauga River by Freshwaters Illustrated. Like birdwatching, riverwatching could be a great immersive activity and have the potential to become a citizen science project. A Deeper Creek shows us how this could be done. Similar to organizing a BioBlitz, snorkeling in a river can generate a lot of informative observations. Rivers have a rich body of natural history and […]

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  • The World’s Fastest Runner – Greg Wilson – National Geographic (2012)

    The World’s Fastest Runner – Greg Wilson – National Geographic (2012)

    A well-designed filming set up to capture the motions of running Cheetahs. Since late MIT professor Doc Edgarton’s time highspeed cameras have evolved wonderfully enabling technical capabilities for producing great slow motion films. In this production the filming crew used a Phantom Flex highspeed recording camera. The following talk by the director Greg Wilson gives us the behind-the-scenes view of the project. The entire set up was constructed on the running alley specially designed for exercising the Cheetahs of Cincinnati […]

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  • Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale – Jeffrey Mittelstadt (2013)

    Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale – Jeffrey Mittelstadt (2013)

    Directed, edited and produced by Jeffrey Mittelstadt of WildSides the short documentary was made for Whale and Dolphin Conservation. North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is highly endangered. Less than 500 North Atlantic right whales live in the wild. Close to 350 of them live in the East Coast of North America. The whale continues to be endangered but thanks to conservation measures like the acoustic stations its population more than tripled in a century. Apart from indirect negative Human […]

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  • Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) appears in the archaeological record of Australia at 4230 years before present. They ruled the continent as apex predators together with the now extinct Tasmanian tiger within the last few thousand years. Dingoes successfully colonized the continent spreading into diverse habitats including tropical rainforests, temperate Eucalyptus forests, mountainous highlands and grasslands. The only exception is the dry inhospitable central deserts. Researchers hypothesize that the Dingo was brought into Australia from Southeastern Asia and perhaps from India […]

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