We’ve been working hard updating our video offering, and have started to assemble a variety of playlists on our YouTube channel. We thought we’d profile some of our most watched clips, so here is a taster we’ve put together for you. To see more, why not head to our channel to explore our top videos at your leisure…
Fight or Flight
The Cape cobra is endemic to southern Africa, and is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous species of cobra in all of Africa. It often inhabits rodent burrows, abandoned termite mounds and, in arid regions, rock crevices. When it feels threatened the Cape cobra raises its forebody off the ground, spreads a broad hood (as seen in this clip) and may hiss loudly, to deter any potential predators.
The Alpine ibex is a species of wild goat that lives in the European Alps. The species was driven very close to extinction in the early 19th century due to overhunting and poaching. They are extremely agile and are able to climb precipitously steep cliffs and rock faces due to their soft, split hooves which provide impressive grip. Quite a neat way to avoid predators!
The stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus), as the name suggests, is a rather pungent smelling fungus, that emerges from an egg-shaped base. The pitted, bell-shaped cap is covered with olive-brown slime, that acts to attract insects, and has an offensive smell that has been likened to rotting meat. This fungus is one of the very few where spores are dispersed by insects rather than by the wind.
Adelie penguins are the smallest penguins found at the Antarctic, they and emperors are the only ones to live and breed exclusively on the Antarctic continent. Male Adelie penguins build nests to attract females, so they have to make sure their nest is the largest and most impressive, to outshine the competition. They collect rocks from the surrounding area and carry or roll them back to their display. They don’t always play fair though and as you can see here, they are not averse to stealing rocks from their neighbours if they think it will help their chances!
The Strangeness of Sunfish
The Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is one of the heaviest bony fishes in the world. They are also known as the Common Mola, as mola translates roughly to ‘millstone’ – in reference to their round flat appearance. In most other languages they are known as Moon Fish, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see why! They have an unusual appearance and look rather like a floating head with a frill instead of a tail. Sunfish are prone to parasitic passengers such as copepods, and can often be seen hanging around at the surface in the hopes that a passing seabird will stop for a snack and aid with the removal of the parasites.
The black-bellied hamster, also known as the common or European hamster, once widespread from Western Europe to Russia, has severely declined in the past decade and is now classed as Critcally Endangered by the IUCN Red List. It’s decline is thought to be due to a combination of persecution and habitat loss / fragmentation caused by agricultural intensification and urban development. There are projects in place aiming to reintroduce this species to suitable habitat in France – read more here.