Spend four minutes looking at and listening to this Galapagos Tortoise, the largest species of tortoise, the 10th-heaviest living reptile, and one of the longest-lived vertebrates on our planet. These animals can live over 100 years average in the wild, and over 150 years in protected captivity.
Extreme Tortoise Close-Up!
Arlo Midgett set up his camera near a tortoise and the old creeper moseyed on over to investigate. I promise you, if you set this to full screen and HD, you’ll never look at a tortoise the same way again…
…Why DO they live so long? The short answer is “because it’s an evolutionary advantage based on their environment and reproductive process.”
The long answer is much more interesting, and can be found here at Slate.
The Galapagos Tortoise is currently listed as endangered. Only about 15,000 individuals remain.
Watch the miraculous journey of infant sea turtles as these tiny animals run the gauntlet of predators and harsh conditions. Then, in numbers, see how human behavior has made their tough lives even more challenging.
Has the kid seen The Survival of the Sea Turtle, for TEDEd, by Scott Gass? Animated by Veronica Wallenberg and Johan Sonestedt.
Previously: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle hatchlings.
Observing a six month old baby girl orangutan, an eight year old son and their mother as they spend family time together in the Sumatran jungle in Indonesia. From the cameraman for this Earth-Touch video:
“Our interaction with the mother via our close observation of her behaviour is more cognitive than anything I have experienced with another animal. It is rather startling to look into her eyes and see her looking back with the same self-awareness and awareness of another.”
A great ape that we share 96.4% of our genetic makeup with, there are two species of Orangutans: Bornean and Sumatran. The Sumatran Orangutan is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. They have lost 80% of their habitat in the last 20 years.
In the Malay language, Orang means “person” and hutan means “forest” — people of the forest.
Walruses are have a unique way of speaking… or really, singing! And this Pacific Walrus named E.T. is excellent at demonstrating this wide range of vocalizations. Thirty year old E.T. was found alone as a pup by Alaskan Oil Workers in 1982. He now weighs over 3,400 lbs and lives at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.
After you watch the video above, head over to NOVA where there’s another great demonstration of walrus-speak:
Leah Combs, a trainer, and Colleen Reichmuth, a marine biologist, introduce us to three very charismatic walruses who are teaching scientists much about walrus vocalizations and communications. In this audio slide show, meet Siku, Uquq, and Sivuqaq and hear the remarkable range of sounds they produce both above and below water.
An important note from the NOVA video: “They really are the last living species in a much larger biogenetic group of animals. There are no other animals like walruses and we still know so very, very little about them and about their behavior.”
Partial population estimates by American and Russian researchers in 2006 counted only 130,000 Pacific walruses. Atlantic walrus numbers are likely below 20,000.
via Most Watched Today.
From photographer Joel Sartore’s Biodiversity Project, a video to promote his book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, which beautifully showcases species that are in danger of disappearing in America, and some that “have come back from the brink.”
Advice from Joel about helping animals? Start by:
…visiting and patronizing your local zoo. Zoos and aquariums are vitally important to conservation today. Not only do they fund and manage captive breeding programs, but they are increasingly involved in conservation of habitat in the wild. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium in your area here.
Last but not least, learn more about your favorite animal. A simple web search will likely lead you to the organizations working on its conservation. Support them. And share what you know with your friends and family. The more people who are informed and who care, the better.
There is also a pretty funny video from behind the scenes of his shoot:
h/t NYT’s LENS.