bbc

Showing 63 posts tagged bbc

From the BBC’s Ocean Giants documentary, watch this incredible clip to hear the extraordinary and mysterious song of the Humpback Whale. Why do they sing (or hum)? Does it serve a purpose? Are they making music for pleasure? Are they talking?

If this clip disappears, you can find the entire documentary on Amazon. And in the archives: watch more whale videos, including a surprise diving encounter with a Humpback Whalethis huge baby Sperm Whale, and Whale Fall (After Life of a Whale).

How are police horses chosen to become the highly trained and trusted steeds that they are? Via BBC Earth, watch the police horse testing and training process as conducted by the San Francisco mounted police unit, where only 10% of the horses that begin the program are found to be right for the job.

Videos in the archives: horseback riding in Yosemite, Mongolian horsemen herding wild horses, and the amazing War Horse puppet with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

In the mountains of Ethiopia, the BBC’s Steve Backshall and his Deadly 60 team track a group of graminivorous (grass-eating) gelada baboons to observe their amazing, lion-sized, canine teeth, which are central to the primates’ social communications. From Mary Bates at Wired’s Zoologic blog

The gum-bearing yawn was most common with males, especially high-ranking ones. This kind of yawn exposed the gelada’s impressive canine teeth, which stood out against the reddish-pink color of their gums and the inside of their mouths. It was often accompanied by a loud call, and the researchers believe the yawn functions as a long-distance display. Males used this yawn during periods of tension, such as the time right before feeding, suggesting it may serve to intimidate other geladas.

The other two less intense types of yawns were seen most in females during friendly interactions. The researchers found these yawns to be more contagious, and observed females mirroring the intensity of other females’ yawns. They believe these yawns are part of a complex communication system between geladas that often engage in friendly interactions. The contagiousness of the yawns in these contexts suggests the behavior might play a role in synchronizing the activity between two geladas, strengthening the emotional connection between them,  or signaling the quality of their relationship.

Gelada males and females might use yawns differently, but all three types of yawn contribute to the smooth workings of gelada society; they function to let everyone know who’s in charge and which geladas are friends.

In the archives: more BBC, more primatesmore yawns, and some teeth.

Join Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek as she treks into northwest Rwanda to meet a family of critically endangered mountain gorillas for the first time. This was filmed for the BBC nature documentary series Cousins (2000).

In the archives, meet more gorillas and watch one of our favorite ape videos: an orangutan family spends quiet time together in the jungle.