Planet Earth II: Islands
November 12, 2016 11:18 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The episode discusses the unique challenges that animals, isolated on islands, face and how they have adapted to overcome them.
posted by ellieBOA (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most traumatic part was iguana vs snakes! A few other clips at the link, BBC Earth YouTube channel.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:14 AM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have watched Planet Earth so many times. Didn't know they were making a second series. Thanks!
posted by curious nu at 6:42 AM on November 13, 2016

It's so good!
posted by ellieBOA at 6:56 AM on November 13, 2016

The most creepy part for me was the island of crabs, Christmas Island. While I can appreciate, intellectually, the wonder of the complex ecosystem of crabs, and the ecological catastrophe of the yellow crazy ants, if I were ever to visit the island I would pack a flame thrower. Something about a sea of arthropods marching through the forest *shudder*.

I haven't been as emotionally invested in any other character on TV this year as I was in that baby iguana, running for its life as a torrent of snakes erupted from the rocks around it. I literally screamed at the TV.
posted by selenized at 1:05 PM on November 13, 2016 [10 favorites]

This is quite amazing. I was hoping it hadn't been on Fanfare yet! Here I am a year later.

The part that stuck with me most was Penguin Island (Zavodovski Island). The whole business of penguin partners taking turns marching off to get food for the family while the other one protects the kids—and hoping, as desperately as a penguin can hope, that their partner returns from the unforgiving ocean and the 20 feet of rock surrounding the desolate island—is so allegorical for all life on earth that it crushes me. Both in a "good cry" and a "bad cry" kind of way. Images of red blood on white abdomens. Does the red signify for the wounded penguin's family? "Oh no! Can you still swim? How will we survive?" (Could the abdomen be white, in part, from an evolutionary perspective not just because it presumably reduces the profile from below when swimming, but because a wound is made more apparent, and this has social utility?)

With millions of penguins on the island, there must be hundreds every day who do not make it back from the ocean, their bodies swallowed up into the void from which all life sprang, and their family finally gives up waiting on them, and they become sad, as sad as a large weird bird can be, and also they realize that their own chances of survival have declined.

So many other fascinating facets too. The penguins and the albatrosses can identify each other('s partners) as individuals in ways we can't imagine.
posted by sylvanshine at 5:30 PM on September 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

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