The Wild Episode
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Coelacanth : The King of the Sea
The coelacanth(s) (Latimeria chalumnae and Latimeria menadoensis) must be amongst the most famous fish in the entire world. And rightly so, since their discovery was one of the most astounding zoological moments of the 20th century. But they're not just famous. They're also a bit misunderstood, and bit mysterious. They are not really living fossils, or missing links. They are fish that give birth to live young, hunt by doing a headstand and carry in their bodies a blueprint that in some...
Large Blue Butterfly : The Wolf In Ant's Clothing
The large blue butterfly (Maculinea arion - or Phengaris arion, depending on who you ask) is both beauty and the beast. Beauty because ... well, it's a pretty little butterfly, so what more could ask for? The beast because it's also such a master of deception, infiltration and carnivory it could be the antagonist in a sci fi horror movie. So welcome to the world of a butterfly that is both parasite and predator, combining the tendencies of the cuckoo and the wolf. Oh, and it spends a...
Banteng : The Horns of a Dilemma
Wild cattle don't come much more beautiful or impressive than the banteng (Bos javanicus), one of three (or is it two?) surviving cattle species that are as much a part of wild Asia as are the tiger or the orang-utan. Like the tiger and the orang-utan, the banteng has not done very well in the face of human pressure, but it has one thing those animals don't: a large population - its largest, in fact - living wild in a country that was never part of its natural range. So what does it mean...
Steller's Sea Cow : Steller's Menagerie Part Two
Part two of two, and the amazing Steller's sea cow (Hydromalis gigas) - a sirenian bigger than an African elephant - finally makes its appearance, as the wheels come off the Great Northern Expedition and Vitus Bering and Georg Steller discover a Lost World. Astonishing wildlife abounds, but will not abound for long, now that it must share its home with a handful of shipwrecked sailors ... Shownotes at www.thewildepisode.com And remember to subscribe to the show to make you sure don't...
Steller's Sea Cow : Steller's Menagerie Part One
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was one of the most surprising, dramatic and generally amazing animals to have shared the world with modern humans. To tell its story is going to take two episodes - and this first of them, to be honest, doesn't even feature the sea cow itself. But it does feature Vitus Bering and Georg Steller, two men who would share with that gigantic creature an extraordinary tale of exploration, survival, death and extinction. Oh, and there's a load of other...
Corn Crake : The Undiscovered Song
Vikings! Monks! Poetry! Plus, a bird that is next to impossible to see, but almost impossible not to hear. The corn crake (Crex crex) has one of the most distinctive voices in the animal world, and for centuries - even as its population in the UK has plummeted - that voice has been a symbol of the bird itself ... Shownotes at www.thewildepisode.com And remember to subscribe to the show for plenty more wonders, curiosities and occasionally horrors from the natural world!
Lord Howe Island Stick Insect : The Lazarus Stick
This Wild Episode is all about what was once the rarest insect in the world - the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect (Dryococelus australis) - and the bizarre story of how it escaped extinction, pulling off one of the most amazing tricks of species survival the world has ever seen ... Shownotes at www.thewildepisode.com. Subscribe to the show for plenty more wonders, curiosities and horrors from the natural world!
Greenland Shark : The Shark in Darkness
Where better to start The Wild Episode than with a shark? Specifically, the Greenland Shark. Somniosus microcephalus. One of the least well known, and most mysterious, top predators in the world. An enormous Arctic shark that lives longer than any other vertebrate, eats almost anything, and loses its sight because its eyes get eaten ... Shownotes at www.thewildepisode.com Subscribe to the show for plenty more wonders, curiosities and horrors from the natural world!