In Lake Malawi Bilharzia parasites grow and develop inside snails. The parasite can penetrate the skin of people wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated water. Within several weeks, worms grow inside the blood vessels of the human body and produce eggs and make the person sick. Unfortunately the cichlid which eats these snails has been overfished so the problem is growing.
Sanjayan explores humankind’s relationship with the Earth’s most important resource: water. Unraveling dramatic connections between fresh water and the health of the planet, he uncovers spectacular wildlife stories that center on managing the natural pulse of the planet’s water.
Lake Malawi has an incredible 850 endemic species of fish found nowhere else on earth, almost all of them some kind of Cichlid. Cichlids have evolved into thousands of different species far quicker than it took apes to evolve into just three species. This fish plays dead in order to attract other fish then eats the fish who come and investigate. Video courtesy of Jay Stauffer.
Some species of cichlid, which eat tiny insects and crustaceans, will swallow mouthfuls of sand. They then suck out animals like microscopic shrimp and filter out a cloud of sand through their gills. Video courtesy of Jay Stauffer.
Bilharzia is a parasite transmitted to people via a water snail found in Lake Malawi. Normally these snails are not found in the shallows where people who lived by the lake bathed and washed but something had changed. Expert scientist, Jay Stauffer found the shallows were infested with the snails and the snails were infested with the Bilharzia parasite. And the ultimate problem was over fishing.
It’s not just for feeding that cichlids have evolved some bizarre behavior, it’s also for the business of reproduction! During breeding and mating cichlids also display some unusual adaptations, they build arenas out of sand that males will dance in or other species will use a shell as a home. Sanjayan comes across one individual who has made his home in a shell.
Lake Malawi has an incredible 850 endemic species of fish found nowhere else on earth, almost all of them some kind of Cichlid. Cichlids have evolved into thousands of different species far quicker than it took apes to evolve into just three species. This particular species has learned to hold all of its’ young in its’ mouth to keep them safe.
Filming the Singing Wells sequence of the Water episode of the series was done in the dry season in Kenya. While Sanjayan was waiting between takes, a local Samburu tribesman used his mobile phone to photograph Sanjayan. He contemplates how the Samburu's tradition of digging wells is for good reason and that it’s not because the tribesmen are not aware of other options to water their cattle.
Starting on the most pristine reef on Earth, home to more predators than prey, Sanjayan draws on his own ocean experiences to reveal a vibrant community of scientists, engineers and fishermen who are providing solutions that can help restore the oceans in astonishing ways. Premieres February 12, 2015 at 10/9c.
Doc Gruber is a shark biologist and founder of the American Elasmobranch Society. Doc Gruber is a recognized authority on shark science. He has specialized in shark behavior, anatomy, sensory systems and tracking. Gruber is perhaps best known for his studies on habitat selection and homing behavior of lemon sharks and eagle rays around the Bimini Shark Lab.
Tiger sharks feast on dead turtles at Raine Island, Australia. The sharks are drawn there by the abundance of dead turtles which have died due to sheer numbers by being buried or turned over in rock pools. The turtles return annually to lay eggs on the same beach they hatched from.
Jeremy Jackson is a marine ecologist, paleontologist and a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama. He has published over 150 scientific publications and has written seven books. He is behind the theories of the Rise of Slime in the oceans. Photos ©Monroe County Public Library, FL.
On a month-long mission in the Solomon Sea, a team aims to tag as many Skipjack Tuna as possible to find out where they go and various unknown elements of Tuna life history. All the data will help to know where in the ocean to protect.
Just after birth, the newborn lemon sharks are measured, tagged and a DNA sample is taken before the young sharks are returned to the mangroves. This provides information to an ongoing database to back up theories that lemon sharks return to the same location they were born to give birth themselves.
Using ‘the claw’ that Richard Fitzpatrick designed with knowledge of tonic immobility, he manages to tag a dangerous man-eating tiger shark. Information from the tags in helping to create a better understanding of the annual movement of the predators.
Journey deep into the great forests of Earth for a new way of looking at these wild places and the animals that live there. Dr. M. Sanjayan travels to Sumatra and finds frightening elephant battles are exploding on the edge of the forest.
Journey deep into the great forests of Earth for a new way of looking at these wild places and the animals that live there. Sanjayan travels into an uncharted area of the Amazon that scientists believe is the most bio-diverse place on Earth. Premieres February 11 at 10/9c. Check local listings.
Jordan Wilson, a man from Heiltsuk descent, reveals the traditional methods of harvesting herring eggs, using hemlock branches. The Heiltsuk sustainable herring fishery has used this traditional process, passed down from ancestors for generations to maximize the yield of herring eggs at spawning time.
Over the course of the spring and summer, two of the most common trees in the northern forests of the planet, ‘breathe’ out oxygen into the atmosphere and ‘breathe’ in carbon dioxide. This clip shows the pulse of life in action as these plants bud.