Home Documentary

Have you ever thought about how long the world will still retain? For me the world seemed always steady as stone in the sea somehow unshakeable, but when I watched this incredible documentary HOME in 2009, which enlightened me about the vulnerability and real condition of our planet, I started to realize that we have to act soon.

HOME is a free nature documentary directed by the internationally recognized French photographer, journalist and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand. He is known as one of the most famous aerial photographer on our planet.

The nature documentary HOME is an ode to our precious planet and was shot entirely from the air with a high resolution digital camera. Yann Arthus-Bertrand went with his team in more than 50 countries all over the world.  They flew from tropical rainforest to the arctic seas to major cities such as Dubai, Tokyo and Lagos to capture wonderful pictures and scenes which has no one seen before like this.

With his incredible documentary Yann Arthus-Bertrand shows us on one side the beauty and fascination of our planet and on the other side he tries to warn us with dramatic pictures which show ecological and social problems such as overpopulation, soil erosion, depletion of natural resources and water scarcity. The nature documentary HOME makes critically clear that only man kind is responsible for the loss of our planet. This all seems really frustrating but at the end of the film a glimmer of hope is given to the audience by showing first projects to protect the nature and biodiversity.

In my opinion is HOME a great film which shows us with incredible and grandiose images the unique flora and fauna of our world as well as the threat to the ecological balance caused by humans. Once you have seen this film you will understand how urgent it is to protect and share responsibility for our planet.

“In less than 200 years we have disturbed the balance of the Earth that has been created in over four billion years.”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Dolphins Rub Shoulders With Fishermen!

In the coastal waters of Laguna, Brazil, a shoal of mullet is in serious trouble. Two of the most intelligent species on the planet – humans and bottlenose dolphins – are conspiring to kill them. The dolphins drive the mullet towards the fishermen, who stand waist-deep in water holding nets. The humans cannot see the fish through the turbid water. They must wait for their accomplices.

As the fish approach, the dolphins signal to the humans by rolling at the surface, or slapping the water with their heads or tails. The nets are cast, and the mullet are snared. Some manage to escape, but in breaking formation, they are easy prey for the dolphins.

In the coastal waters of Laguna, Brazil, a shoal of mullet is in serious trouble. Two of the most intelligent species on the planet – humans and bottlenose dolphins – are conspiring to kill them. The dolphins drive the mullet towards the fishermen, who stand waist-deep in water holding nets. The humans cannot see the fish through the turbid water. They must wait for their accomplices.

As the fish approach, the dolphins signal to the humans by rolling at the surface, or slapping the water with their heads or tails. The nets are cast, and the mullet are snared. Some manage to escape, but in breaking formation, they are easy prey for the dolphins.

According to town records, this alliance began in 1847, and involves at least three generations of both humans and dolphins. Today, there are around 55 dolphins in the neighbourhood, and around 45 per cent of them interact with the fishermen.

Now, Fabio Daura-Jorge from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil studied Laguna’s dolphins to learn how their unusual collaboration has shaped their social networks. He spent two years taking photographs of the local dolphins, and noting where they travelled and who they were associated with. As is typical for bottlenose dolphins, the Laguna individuals formed a ‘fission-fusion’ society – they all belonged to the same large group, but they had specific ‘friends’ whom they would spend more time with.

The dolphins roughly split into two separate groups, based on their tendency to hunt with humans. Those that co-operated with the fishermen were more likely to spend time with each other than the uncooperative individuals. Likewise, the uncooperative dolphins showed a tendency to stick to their own clique.

One individual even seemed to act as a “social broker”, and spent time with individuals from both groups.

Of the two groups, the human-helpers seemed to form stronger social ties. It is not clear if helping humans means they spend more time together, or vice versa. But certainly, their close associations increase the odds that one dolphin will learn the hunting technique from its peers.

This fits with what we know about bottlenose dolphins. They are extremely intelligent animals and different populations have developed their own quirky foraging traditions by learning from one another. Some use sponges to guard their snouts when they root about the ocean floor for food. Others can prepare a cuttlefish meal by sequentially killing and stripping them.

Daura-Jorge now wants to understand why only some of the dolphins help the fishermen, given that doing so clearly provides them with benefits, and all of them have the opportunity to help. By analysing the dolphins’ genes, he hopes to piece together their family trees, and work out if mothers pass on the behaviour to their calves.

There are several cases around the world where dolphins feed on the discarded remains of fish thrown away by humans. But the Laguna animals do far more than that – the fisherman wouldn’t catch any fish at all without their help. A similar alliance takes place half a world away in Burma, where Irrawaddy dolphins also fish cooperatively with humans.

 

Brain + Teamwork = Fishes Into The Mouth

Bottlenose dolphins are one of the fastest animals on Earth and the ones off the coast of Florida have invented a new way of hunting their elusive and fast swimming prey. Swimming in ever decreasing circles the dolphins stir up the mud from the sea floor with their tails, and trap schools of fish inside the resulting ring of mud. The panicked fish jump out of the water away from the ring and straight into the waiting mouths of the other dolphins. Developing this sort of advantage over other groups of bottlenose dolphins may give this population the edge in the battle for survival of the fittest.

The bottlenose dolphin has a grayish skin tone that varies from dark to light gray starting at the dorsal fin and ending near the lower body. The under-body is much lighter in color and is closer to white than gray. They have slim aero dynamic bodies and a short beak with conical-shaped teeth, which helps these dolphins find and capture various prey. As far as size goes these dolphins can reach lengths between 6.5 – 13.5 ft and weigh anywhere from 300 – 1,400 lbs. when fully matures. Unlike other species of dolphin the male is typically larger and heavier than its female counterpart.

HABITAT

These dolphins can often be found living in warm tropical/sub tropical environments in waters above 50° F.

They can be found both in coastal and offshore waters in areas such as South Africa, Australia, Cape Cod, Chile, Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, Japan, Nova Scotia, Norway and Southern California and Florida in the United States.

They are also found in various parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

DIET

The diet for the bottlenose dolphin consists of a variety of fish, squid and crustaceans.

While these dolphins do possess teeth they only use their teeth to grab their prey and swallow their food whole.

During hunting periods several dolphins can often be found working in groups pushing the fish towards the shore and circling or entrapping them so that they can have the best opportunity of successfully capturing their prey.

A group of dolphins may work together to herd the fish into a small ball or corner then take turns darting in and eating their immobilized prey.

They may also use their tail or flukes to hit and stun the fish, so that they will be easier to capture.

While they sometimes hunt in groups these dolphins may also be found hunting alone and both the hunting methods and number of dolphins found hunting in a pod can vary depending on the dolphin’s habitat and environment.

In addition to using sophisticated hunting strategies these dolphins are also equipped with echolocation, which allows them to detect where their prey is, alerts them of threats and helps them avoid collision with nearby objects.

DOLPHINS AND HUMANS

Bottlenose dolphins are known to be boisterous and outgoing when in contact with humans and may display curiosity or excitement when communicating with people.

These marine mammals are highly intelligent and can learn complex tricks and behaviors that are taught to them by trainers.

They’ve even been featured as the primary attraction at marine shows and have played specialized roles in the military where they help soldiers locate mines and rescue people who have been lost at sea.

Their high level of intelligence has been so interesting to humans that scientists have been trying to devise a way to communicate with dolphins through technology and hope to one day be able to have a conversation with these amazing marine mammals.

From a cultural perspective dolphins have been popularized by movies and tourism, considered angelic beings by certain cultural societies and considered the reincarnation of family members through the beliefs of various groups.

Since their discovery humans have been attracted to the bottlenose dolphin as these dolphins have been attracted to us.

THREATS

These dolphins are known to face threats from poachers and dolphin hunters looking to sell their meat to stores and restaurants for consumption by humans, used for crab bait and killed in order to maintain fish supplies since dolphins may make it difficult for fisheries to work effectively at capturing fish due to large stocks of dolphins eating the fish and/or attacking fish in fishing nets.

Bottlenose dolphins also face threats from accidentally being captured in fish nets intended for fish.

In these instances a dolphin may mistake a balled group of fish for easy prey and run right into the fishing net.

Because dolphins are mammals they must come to the surface for air, so there is a good chance that they could drown when caught in a fishing net, which prevents them from getting adequate oxygen to the lungs.

Most species of dolphin can only hold their breath for a few minutes (5 – 15 minutes) before they need to come up for air.

Recently extreme tourism has also been noted as a threat due to large quantities of people and boats in the ocean, which could cause collisions with the dolphins or even contribute to water pollution.

In terms of natural threats these dolphins may face occasional threats from sharks or groups of hungry killer whales as well as getting sick from natural diseases and parasites.

 

Planet Earth II Makes It More Cinematic

When the BBC launched its Natural History Unit in 1957 to produce radio and TV programs about wildlife, its wind-up film cameras could only run for 20 seconds at a time. There was no way to schedule multi-destination airplane trips, and once a crew arrived at their remote location, they couldn’t communicate with Bristol for weeks or review their footage.

Now, as the BBC releases its latest blue-chip series, Planet Earth II, cameras are smaller than ever, they can shoot at higher frame rates in lower light, and data storage is essentially unlimited.

But each time a technological development threatens to make their jobs easier, the NHU becomes more ambitious. It’s not enough to show a barn owl hunting a harvest mouse — now they want it from the mouse’s point of view. It’s not enough to get footage of snow leopards, one of the hardest animals on the planet to track down — now they want to spy on them from a foot’s distance with motion-detecting cameras.

The result is that Planet Earth II is the most cinematic wildlife film yet.

Before The Flood

Here is a heartfelt, decent, educational documentary about the most important issue of our time – climate change – presented by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, who proves his own commitment to the cause. His own interest began with an encounter with Al Gore in 2000 and has been a genuine passion with him since. DiCaprio concedes that his own celebrity status is a double-edged sword. It draws attention to the topic, but allows the naysayers to say that he is a shallow, chuckle-headed movie star and this whole issue must therefore be a fad. There are brutal Fox TV news clips to this effect.

The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes

This is an incredible video of a Canadian girl who spoke to the United Nations and left them completely silent and speechless for five minutes. Her name is Severn Cullis-Suzuki, and her speech was given at a U.N. assembly in Brazil when she was twelve years old. She had raised all the money to travel to the delegation, five thousand miles from her home, herself.

Speaking about the hole in the ozone layer, pollution, the devastation of the forests and extinction of so many species, Severn charges that we adults have no idea how to fix these things, in fact can’t fix them, and that we must change our ways. “If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it,” she pleads.

Severn continued to say:

“I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I’m only a child and I don’t have the solutions…but neither do you. I am only a child, but I know we are all part of a family five billion strong; in fact, 30 million species strong, and borders and governments will never change that.

Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share. We are afraid to let go of some of our wealth. Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with children living in the streets. This is what one child told us:

‘I wish I was rich. And if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter, love and affection.’

If child on the streets who has nothing is willing to share – why are we, who have everything, still so greedy?

I am only a child, but I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty, and finding treaties – what a wonderful place this world would be.”

And here’s the kicker – this speech was given in 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. How much is still relevant today? All of it. And the more important question is: How much has been changed, accomplished, since Severn spoke that day?

Years later, Severn wrote a piece for Time magazine in which she said: “I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken…In the 10 years since Rio, I have learned that addressing our leaders is not enough. As Gandhi said many years ago, ‘We must become the change we want to see.’ I know change is possible.”

Severn comes from an environmental legacy – her father is the renowned David Suzuki. At the age of nine, Severn founded the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. Today, Severn is an environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. She has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility.

She co-hosted Suzuki’s Nature Quest, a children’s television series that aired on the Discovery Channel in 2002. In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project.As a member of Kofi Annan’s Special Advisory Panel, she and members of the Skyfish Project brought their first project, a pledge called the “Recognition of Responsibility”, to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002.