Alaska: The Nutrient Cycle by wildlife filmmaker Paul Klaver.
Once they enter fresh water chum salmon stop feeding and morph into an aggressive creature intent only on mating. After spawning, they die and their bodies become a source of nutrients for everything in the forest and sea.
This 14 minute video had the kids riveted and shows how the end of the salmon’s life directly benefits the animals and ecosystem around them. A note a warning for more sensitive viewers: this video includes a lot of creatures eating very dead-looking fish.
There are more videos tagged with life cycle and death in the archives, including Radiolab’s excellent Whale Fall.
Brian Cox’s Favourite Wonder from Wonders of the Solar System:
Against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, Brian reveals his fourth Wonder. Saturn’s moon Titan is shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. He reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond Earth where we’ve found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea, but the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on Earth.
I can’t be the only one obsessed with Saturn and its moons, right?
Related links: the Huygens Probe and the Matanuska Glacier.
This is a huge mass of ice ”calving" or breaking away from Holgate Glacier at Kenai Fjords in Alaska. We found this video after watching this ice “explosion” that was shot in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica. Both are pretty stunning to watch on video, so I can only imagine what it was like to watch in person… as it turns out, watching ice melt can be pretty riveting.