One Planet

In this episode of Netflix's original documentary series: Our Planet, they explore the different biomes all over the world to show the crucial connections between each distinct habitat, and how the linkages all contribute to the vast biodiversity on Earth and to the stability of life.

Episode Summary

The episode starts off with seabirds and dolphins living in the big blue seas. Millions of seabirds migrate and dive beak-first in the water to catch fish to eat, almost as if they were millions of bombs crashing into the waves. Meanwhile, desert sands from hundreds of kilometers away provide the raw materials for life when a quarter of nearly 2 billion tons of dust gets blown into the seas by strong wind. Krill eats the particles for nutrients, and mackerels eat the krill. The dolphins were also in a feeding-frenzy where they cooperate to use a feeding technique call ball-baiting to eat mackerel. As they drive the fish upwards towards the surface, the mackerel gets trapped. Shearwater Birds dive for fish from above and dolphins attack on the underside.


Deluges across the deserts drenches salt pans in Africa, providing flocks of flamingoes a breeding ground on the shores of islands. Due to the extreme salinity of the surrounding waters, no predators would want to venture out onto the breeding shores; thus, providing the nests with protection. The nests are built as mounds of wet sand/mud above the ground to keep the eggs cooler than the ground level. While they wait for the eggs to hatch, they eat the algae found as dormant spores in the dust. Since it takes approximately 30 days for the eggs to hatch, the scorching desert sun had dried up the all water by the time the eggs hatch. With the protection gone, the flock of flamingoes are forced to trek up to 50km to find freshwater for the chicks and find elsewhere to be.


Rain falls randomly and are not equally dispersed across the planet. Wildebeests follows the seasonal rains across deserts find fresh grass and eventually reach woodlands. Young calves play to strengthen their legs for the long journey and for escaping potential predators along the way. The whole migration depends on continuity of rain and grasslands.


As more and more rain water the Earth, tropical rainforests thrive on the heavy rains pitter-pattering the plants. Male orchid bees rely on pheromones to attract females and the orchids can provide that. In the red bucket-shaped orchid, an oily liquid drips into the bucket from the top, and when the bee land on the bucket, they slip and fall in. The bee cannot fly out due to the stickiness of the liquid, forcing the bee to crawl up the only exit: a narrow tube. When the bee is near the opening, the orchid attaches its pollen onto the bee's back and coats the bee with perfume. Once the bee regains its strength, it can go about wooing the females.



Further to the East, Boreal Forests stretch across North America and extends into the Euroasia region, providing some protection against the harsh winter weather. Caribous head south to find find food and shelter, but they are not alone. As the herd rests on a frozen lake, wolves use their nose the sniff out the freshest tracks to find the prey. However, the caribous can outrun the wolves out in the open, so the wolves corner the herd of caribous back into the forest; this gives them the advantage to hide behind the trees for ambush attack. The Alpha wolf made a mistake, allowing the caribou herd to continue their journey to the tundra for spring.


Up in the cold Arctic, polar regions are facing the effects of global warming are more evident than any other habitat. As the sea ice continues to melt, polar bears are finding it more difficult to hunt. The cubs are becoming more and more underweight, which lowers the chances of survival. Additionally, icebergs are changing the environment: (1) melting ones changes the waters' salinity, increases sea levels & disrupts ocean currents, and (2) icebergs surging from the water surfaces disrupts the tidal waves. The glacial and sea ice reflects solar radiation away from surface to protect Earth from overheating. With glacial ice moving 45km/day, and melting twice as fast as it was 10 years ago, climate change is quickly affecting all organisms living on the planet; including humans.


Videography

The episode had many beautiful transitions from each biome to the next, ranging in shot sizes and lengths. During scenes of predators hunting prey, suspenseful/dramatic music would play; timing it with the animals' interaction enhanced the viewing experience. There were also a few time lapses to see the transformation of a damaged habitat over time. Throughout the episode, we could also hear noises from the footage as if we were there, too. From the deep blue seas to the deserts, rainforests to the polar regions, the episode was very well put together.


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