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BBC - The Blue Planet (4 of 8) - Frozen Seas

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[INFORMATION] [AUTHOR] [SOURCE] [PRG] [FILEPATH] [DELAY] [CD TRACK] [COMMENT] [END INFORMATION] [SUBTITLE] [COLF]&HFFFFFF,[STYLE]no,[SIZE]18,[FONT]Arial 00:00:45.00,00:00:49.01 The frozen seas are worlds[br]unto themselves 00:00:49.01,00:00:52.01 Beneath their ceiling of ice[br]they have an eerie, 00:00:52.01,00:00:56.00 almost magical stillness, cut off[br]from the storms that rage above 00:01:02.02,00:01:06.02 In the winter, the feeble slanting[br]rays of the sun bring little warmth 00:01:06.02,00:01:10.02 and the temperature seldom rises[br]above minus fifty degrees Centigrade 00:01:24.04,00:01:28.03 For much of the year,[br]it is dark and cripplingly cold 00:01:29.05,00:01:32.05 Yet, there is life here[br]- at both ends of the earth... 00:01:32.05,00:01:36.04 the Arctic and the Antarctic 00:01:45.06,00:01:48.06 For most animals, whether they[br]live in or out of water, 00:01:48.06,00:01:52.06 the winters, when much of the sea[br]is frozen, bring the greatest challenge 00:01:58.07,00:01:59.08 The Northern hemisphere 00:01:59.08,00:02:02.08 It's February, and as the Earth[br]tilts on its axis, 00:02:02.08,00:02:05.08 the sun's rays creep[br]slowly northwards 00:02:05.08,00:02:09.07 and the Arctic emerges[br]from its harsh winter 00:02:12.09,00:02:16.08 The Arctic is a frozen ocean[br]surrounded by continents 00:02:17.09,00:02:19.10 - and when the surface of the sea[br]between the continents freezes 00:02:19.10,00:02:23.09 from shore to shore, land predators[br]walk out onto it - to hunt 00:02:31.11,00:02:35.10 It's early March and the sea[br]is still covered with ice 00:02:37.11,00:02:41.11 But there are patches of open water[br]- polynyas - that never freeze over 00:02:42.12,00:02:45.12 Here, where tidal currents[br]are squeezed between islands, 00:02:45.12,00:02:49.11 the water movement is so strong[br]that ice cannot form 00:02:54.13,00:02:58.12 Walruses spend the[br]winter in polynyas 00:02:59.14,00:03:01.14 Here they have permanent[br]access to the air, 00:03:01.14,00:03:05.13 but they can also retreat to[br]the sea to shelter to hunt 00:03:19.16,00:03:21.16 Other sea mammals overwinter[br]in the polynyas as well 00:03:21.16,00:03:25.15 - in this one, a young bowhead whale 00:03:34.17,00:03:38.16 Here the current is really fast[br]and the shifting ice is dangerous 00:03:44.18,00:03:48.17 This whale became trapped when[br]ice encircled it last autumn 00:03:57.19,00:04:01.20 There is no food here, but a whale[br]must breathe and the only place 00:04:01.20,00:04:05.19 that it can do so, for miles around,[br]is in this tiny hole 00:04:08.20,00:04:12.20 It's living entirely on its reserves[br]of fat, but now they are dangerously low 00:04:14.21,00:04:18.20 It will be some months yet,[br]before it can escape 00:04:31.23,00:04:34.23 Elsewhere, other whales[br]have also been trapped 00:04:34.23,00:04:36.23 These are belugas 00:04:36.23,00:04:39.24 Their tiny hole in the ice[br]has been kept open, 00:04:39.24,00:04:43.24 not by currents but by[br]the belugas' continuous movements 00:04:43.24,00:04:47.23 as they rise to breathe 00:04:50.25,00:04:54.25 Open water is now some[br]twenty miles away 00:04:54.25,00:04:58.24 It will be two months yet[br]before the ice melts 00:05:09.27,00:05:13.26 The belugas are extremely thin[br]- and most of them are horribly scarred 00:05:23.28,00:05:27.27 But their wounds were not[br]inflicted by the ice 00:05:35.29,00:05:39.28 A whale would be a huge prize for[br]any meat-eating hunter and these belugas, 00:05:40.30,00:05:44.29 trapped by the ice,[br]are within reach of polar bears 00:05:57.31,00:06:01.31 Well aware of the danger, the belugas[br]stay submerged as long as they can 00:06:02.32,00:06:06.31 But they can only hold their breath[br]for about twenty minutes 00:06:25.34,00:06:29.33 Catching a four-metre long whale[br]that weighs one ton is no easy task 00:06:31.35,00:06:35.34 - even if that whale is[br]weakened by starvation 00:06:46.36,00:06:50.36 But a beluga is well[br]worth waiting for 00:07:12.39,00:07:14.39 Day by day, as the hole[br]gets bigger, 00:07:14.39,00:07:18.38 it becomes increasingly difficult[br]for the bear to land a whale 00:07:22.40,00:07:26.39 Keeping its fur in good condition and[br]free from salt is important for warmth 00:07:27.40,00:07:31.40 - and the bear uses snow[br]like blotting paper 00:07:42.42,00:07:46.42 These belugas have been attacked by many[br]bears over the last six months 00:07:46.42,00:07:50.42 - and some have been caught 00:07:52.43,00:07:55.43 It may have taken a long time and[br]a lot of patience, but a catch, 00:07:55.43,00:07:59.42 when it's made, brings abundant[br]rewards of energy rich blubber 00:08:11.45,00:08:14.45 Gulls rely on bear-kills[br]at this time of the year 00:08:14.45,00:08:18.44 - and the colour of blood staining the[br]ice attracts them from a long way away 00:08:24.46,00:08:28.46 The remaining belugas still have[br]a long wait before they are released 00:08:28.46,00:08:32.46 from their prison and[br]the threat of slaughter 00:08:59.50,00:09:03.49 Arctic foxes also rely on the[br]polar bears to hunt on their behalf 00:09:04.50,00:09:08.49 They're the jackals of the north and[br]scavenge from bear kills whenever they can 00:09:18.51,00:09:22.52 In winter and early spring,[br]they are wholly dependent on bears 00:09:22.52,00:09:24.52 Only in the summer,[br]when the sea ice melts, 00:09:24.52,00:09:28.51 will they regularly[br]catch prey for themselves 00:09:36.53,00:09:38.53 They are not strong enough[br]to tackle adult seals, 00:09:38.53,00:09:42.53 but can certainly take[br]new-born pups or birds 00:09:55.55,00:09:59.56 This canny individual[br]is going to bury its prize 00:09:59.56,00:10:03.55 - it may need it during[br]the uncertain times ahead 00:10:06.56,00:10:09.57 The presence of bears[br]affects the behaviour of almost 00:10:09.57,00:10:13.57 all the animals here[br]- big and small 00:10:13.57,00:10:17.57 The bears tend to avoid the fringe of[br]fragmented ice bordering open water 00:10:17.57,00:10:20.58 - where travelling can[br]be very laborious 00:10:20.58,00:10:24.58 But that very fact makes[br]this area - the pack ice 00:10:24.58,00:10:28.57 - a particularly good place[br]for seals to pup 00:10:36.59,00:10:38.59 Harp seals breed here 00:10:38.59,00:10:41.60 Their pups are born with white[br]coats which camouflage them 00:10:41.60,00:10:45.59 very effectively against the snow 00:10:46.60,00:10:49.61 Harp seals have a very[br]short nursing period 00:10:49.61,00:10:52.61 - a necessity on this[br]unstable pack ice 00:10:52.61,00:10:55.61 But suckling is intensive 00:10:55.61,00:10:59.60 The pup feeds for just twelve days[br]on milk that is 45 percent fat 00:11:01.62,00:11:05.61 Then it is abandoned[br]and has to fend for itself 00:11:08.62,00:11:12.62 A male hooded seal 00:11:14.63,00:11:18.62 This impressive nasal display is used[br]to warn away other males... 00:11:25.64,00:11:29.63 ...and to win a mate[br]Hooded seals also breed on pack ice 00:11:31.65,00:11:34.65 Their pups suckle for only four days 00:11:34.65,00:11:37.65 - the shortest nursing period[br]known for any mammal 00:11:37.65,00:11:40.66 - and all because the[br]threat of polar bears 00:11:40.66,00:11:44.65 caused them to breed[br]on the unstable ice 00:11:58.67,00:12:02.67 Another Arctic seal opts[br]for the solid ice further north 00:12:03.68,00:12:06.68 Because it's easy for[br]bears to hunt here, 00:12:06.68,00:12:10.68 these ringed seals must be particularly[br]vigilant and have to hide their pups 00:12:16.69,00:12:19.70 Ringed seals are comparatively small,[br]so they can give birth 00:12:19.70,00:12:23.69 to their pups in little caves,[br]or lairs, under the snow 00:12:24.70,00:12:28.69 Here, a pup is out of sight[br]and protected from bad weather 00:12:32.71,00:12:36.71 In late March and into April,[br]female bears emerge from winter 00:12:36.71,00:12:40.72 dens with their new cubs 00:12:40.72,00:12:44.71 The mother has not eaten for at least[br]five months and she's hungry - very hungry 00:12:54.73,00:12:57.73 If she doesn't succeed in catching[br]a regular supply of seals, 00:12:57.73,00:13:01.73 her milk will fail and[br]her cub will die 00:13:07.74,00:13:10.75 Bears have an extraordinarily[br]sensitive sense of smell 00:13:10.75,00:13:14.74 and can detect seal pups hidden in[br]the snow from two kilometres away 00:13:28.76,00:13:31.77 But a female ringed seal[br]uses several lairs 00:13:31.77,00:13:34.77 and a bear will almost certainly[br]have to break into a number 00:13:34.77,00:13:38.76 before it finds one[br]that is occupied 00:13:46.78,00:13:48.78 This is a crucial time[br]for the cub 00:13:48.78,00:13:52.79 By watching its mother hunt[br]and by copying her actions, 00:13:52.79,00:13:56.78 it's beginning to acquire the[br]rudiments of its own hunting skills 00:14:01.80,00:14:05.79 Play is also important for developing[br]muscles and improving co-ordination 00:14:26.82,00:14:29.83 As the days go by,[br]the sun rises higher 00:14:29.83,00:14:33.82 and remains above the[br]horizon even at night 00:14:40.84,00:14:42.84 The female bear continues to hunt 00:14:42.84,00:14:46.83 until her cub is too tired[br]and can't keep up 00:14:52.85,00:14:56.84 She has smelt something 00:15:17.87,00:15:21.87 The pup escapes through a hole in[br]its lair that leads to the sea below 00:15:44.90,00:15:47.90 Only one in twenty hunts[br]is successful 00:15:47.90,00:15:51.90 But this mother must find a seal pup soon[br]if her cub is not to starve to death 00:16:09.93,00:16:13.92 As spring turns into summer, the sun's[br]heat begins to melt the sea ice 00:16:18.93,00:16:22.93 Now the ocean is accessible and[br]the Arctic's summer visitors return 00:16:24.94,00:16:27.94 Migrating birds arrive[br]from the south to nest 00:16:27.94,00:16:31.95 and feed on the seafood[br]that's now within their reach 00:16:31.95,00:16:35.95 Brunnich's guillemots are the[br]northern equivalent of penguins 00:16:35.95,00:16:38.95 But they have retained[br]the power of flight, 00:16:38.95,00:16:40.96 for they need to[br]reach cliff ledges 00:16:40.96,00:16:44.95 where their nests will be safe[br]from predatory bears and foxes 00:17:01.98,00:17:05.97 Nonetheless, they are as at home[br]in the water as in the air 00:17:07.98,00:17:11.98 They dive down to a depth of fifty[br]metres or more to catch fish 00:17:21.00,00:17:24.00 In June, the ice begins[br]to fracture 00:17:24.00,00:17:28.00 The cracks - or leads[br]- form useful corridors 00:17:28.00,00:17:32.00 of open water for[br]air-breathing animals 00:17:35.01,00:17:37.01 Belugas, migrating to[br]their feeding grounds, 00:17:37.01,00:17:40.02 use these leads to penetrate[br]the ice-covered seas 00:17:40.02,00:17:43.02 and reach areas where[br]their preferred food, 00:17:43.02,00:17:47.01 Arctic cod, has spent the winter 00:17:53.03,00:17:57.02 The males regularly dive to about[br]five hundred metres to find fish 00:17:58.03,00:18:02.03 The females and young, which have[br]smaller lungs, only go to about 350 00:18:16.05,00:18:20.04 In late June and July,[br]narwhals arrive 00:18:21.06,00:18:25.05 The females, who usually lack tusks,[br]come first with their new calves 00:18:26.06,00:18:30.05 The males follow a little later 00:18:42.08,00:18:46.07 They also move up the leads in[br]search of fresh feeding grounds 00:18:58.09,00:19:02.09 Bowheads. Up to 18 metres long[br]and weighing a hundred tonnes, 00:19:03.10,00:19:07.09 these are the only large whales[br]that stay in the Arctic all year round 00:19:24.12,00:19:28.11 They are not after fish[br]They are seeking smaller prey 00:19:30.13,00:19:33.13 Despite having the largest mouths[br]in the animal kingdom, 00:19:33.13,00:19:37.13 the size of a small garage,[br]they eat tiny crustaceans 00:19:37.13,00:19:41.13 - copepods - straining them from the[br]water with the four-metre long strips 00:19:42.14,00:19:46.13 of baleen that hang from[br]their upper jaws 00:19:55.15,00:19:57.15 In the summer they store[br]enough energy to last them 00:19:57.15,00:20:01.15 through the following winter,[br]when food will be less abundant 00:20:03.16,00:20:07.15 As the ice melts away, the polar[br]bears are forced to head for land 00:20:10.17,00:20:14.17 They are excellent swimmers[br]and can cover a hundred miles 00:20:14.17,00:20:18.16 of continuous open water[br]if need be 00:20:53.21,00:20:57.21 Off east Greenland,[br]there is little ice left by August, 00:20:57.21,00:21:01.22 so walruses haul out[br]to rest on land 00:21:01.22,00:21:03.22 At this time of the year[br]they are moulting, 00:21:03.22,00:21:07.21 getting rid of their old scarred[br]and parasite-ridden skin 00:21:17.23,00:21:21.23 A bathe in the cold water brings[br]some relief from the itching 00:21:40.26,00:21:44.25 But even there,[br]the odd scratch is irresistible 00:22:02.28,00:22:06.27 They make daily excursions[br]out to deeper water 00:22:16.29,00:22:19.29 Down at 20 metres, they root[br]around in the sediment, 00:22:19.29,00:22:23.29 using their sensitive bristles[br]to search out soft-shelled clams 00:22:44.32,00:22:47.32 Once they find a clam,[br]they suck its flesh from the shell 00:22:47.32,00:22:51.32 with their powerful,[br]muscular mouths 00:22:54.33,00:22:57.33 Walruses can feed for about[br]five minutes at this depth 00:22:57.33,00:23:01.33 before they have to return[br]to the surface to breathe 00:23:08.34,00:23:12.34 Elsewhere in the Arctic, belugas are[br]gathering in their thousands 00:23:13.35,00:23:17.34 They congregate in just[br]a few large estuaries 00:23:18.35,00:23:21.36 Belugas of all ages[br]and sizes come here 00:23:21.36,00:23:25.35 There are even young calves 00:23:36.37,00:23:40.36 Some are so young - born only a week or[br]so ago - that they need help 00:23:42.38,00:23:46.37 They swim on their mothers' backs so[br]that they can breathe more easily 00:23:57.39,00:24:00.40 As the tide moves up the estuary,[br]the belugas follow, 00:24:00.40,00:24:04.39 swimming into surprisingly[br]shallow water 00:24:11.41,00:24:15.40 Like walruses,[br]they also need to moult 00:24:23.42,00:24:26.42 A combination of warm fresh water[br]and vigorous rubbing 00:24:26.42,00:24:30.41 against the gravel does the trick 00:24:40.44,00:24:44.44 They remain here for days,[br]or even weeks, 00:24:44.44,00:24:48.43 so it's likely that socialising[br]is also important to them 00:24:53.45,00:24:57.44 After moulting, they head back[br]out to sea to feed 00:25:03.46,00:25:07.45 It's now autumn and the sea[br]begins to freeze over, once again 00:25:14.47,00:25:17.47 Thin sheets of ice form at[br]the surface and pile up, 00:25:17.47,00:25:21.47 layer upon layer, gradually[br]creating an impenetrable barrier 00:25:30.49,00:25:34.48 By late November, the Arctic Ocean[br]is sealed once again by ice 00:25:50.51,00:25:54.50 The lights of the aurora play[br]in the winter sky 00:26:04.52,00:26:08.52 At the other end of the planet[br]- in the Antarctic 00:26:08.52,00:26:12.52 - there is the southern aurora 00:26:24.54,00:26:28.53 Antarctica is now emerging[br]from winter 00:26:29.54,00:26:32.55 This is the coldest,[br]windiest place in the world 00:26:32.55,00:26:36.55 Temperatures are still hovering[br]at a numbing minus 50 00:26:36.55,00:26:40.56 and the returning sun has[br]virtually no warmth 00:26:40.56,00:26:44.55 Very few animals can survive[br]such extreme conditions 00:26:45.56,00:26:49.55 But emperor penguins can 00:26:54.57,00:26:58.56 Standing on the frozen sea, they endure[br]the full force of the Antarctic storms 00:27:08.58,00:27:12.58 Only by huddling together can they can[br]survive the appalling winter months 00:27:20.60,00:27:24.59 They take it in turns to bear[br]the brunt of the gales 00:27:26.60,00:27:30.61 They can only live here at all because[br]Antarctica is surrounded 00:27:30.61,00:27:34.60 by the Great Southern Ocean and no land[br]predators have been able to reach it, 00:27:35.61,00:27:39.60 so unlike Arctic animals,[br]they're not threatened by polar bears 00:27:43.62,00:27:45.62 The sea is still frozen 00:27:45.62,00:27:49.61 But one seal, nonetheless,[br]manages to stay here, 00:27:50.63,00:27:54.62 even throughout the winter... 00:27:55.63,00:27:59.62 ... the Weddell seal 00:28:11.65,00:28:15.65 Underwater, it's protected[br]from the storms above 00:28:15.65,00:28:19.64 But it must have access to the air[br]all year - in order to breathe 00:28:31.67,00:28:35.66 And they keep their breathing holes open[br]- with their teeth 00:28:45.68,00:28:49.67 Only by continually scraping away at the[br]ice can they maintain access to the air 00:28:51.69,00:28:54.69 But that means that their teeth[br]get badly worn down 00:28:54.69,00:28:58.69 Then they can no longer hunt[br]and eat effectively 00:28:58.69,00:29:02.69 Weddell seals die young 00:29:10.71,00:29:13.71 The continent of Antarctica[br]is so isolated 00:29:13.71,00:29:16.71 and so high - almost five[br]thousand metres in places 00:29:16.71,00:29:20.70 - that it's considerably colder[br]than the Arctic 00:29:23.72,00:29:27.71 Ice slides slowly down from its centre[br]towards its rim in immense glaciers 00:29:31.73,00:29:35.72 During winter, the continent effectively[br]doubles in size as the sea freezes over 00:29:37.73,00:29:40.74 Ice forms around its shores[br]and extends outwards 00:29:40.74,00:29:44.73 for hundreds of miles around[br]the entire land mass 00:29:50.75,00:29:54.74 Under the sea-ice live small[br]shrimp-like creatures - krill 00:29:55.75,00:29:59.75 They have been here all winter 00:29:59.75,00:30:03.75 During these dark months, they feed by[br]scraping algae from the ice 00:30:07.76,00:30:09.76 Remarkably, they also[br]shrink in size 00:30:09.76,00:30:13.76 and revert to their juvenile[br]form to save energy 00:30:20.78,00:30:22.78 As the temperature[br]rises in spring, 00:30:22.78,00:30:26.77 the ice begins to melt and little air[br]bubbles trapped within it are released 00:30:28.78,00:30:32.78 Microscopic algae grow around these[br]bubbles and the krill now graze on them, 00:30:33.79,00:30:37.78 gathering them up with[br]their beating legs 00:30:52.81,00:30:56.80 As the sun's rays grow stronger[br]and penetrate deeper into the water, 00:30:57.81,00:31:01.82 floating algae begin to[br]flourish and krill leave 00:31:01.82,00:31:05.81 the dwindling ice and gather in swarms[br]as they harvest this new crop 00:31:17.83,00:31:20.84 Far to the north, beyond the[br]blanket of sea ice, 00:31:20.84,00:31:24.83 chinstrap penguins have been[br]overwintering in the open ocean 00:31:32.85,00:31:36.85 The occasional iceberg gives[br]them the chance of a rest 00:31:36.85,00:31:40.84 - if they can get onto it 00:32:07.88,00:32:11.88 But at this time of year, where they[br]really want to be is on land 00:32:12.89,00:32:16.88 It's just getting there[br]that's tricky 00:32:34.91,00:32:38.90 It's spring and the penguins[br]are returning to breed 00:32:44.92,00:32:48.91 Their need to get ashore is now[br]urgent and imperative 00:33:00.94,00:33:04.93 Doing so is all a matter of timing[br]- and picking the right wave 00:33:52.99,00:33:56.99 But their journey has[br]only just begun 00:33:56.99,00:34:00.98 Most of them will have to walk many miles[br]before they can find a nest site 00:34:16.01,00:34:20.00 This is Zavodovski Island, which has the[br]largest penguin colony in the world 00:34:23.02,00:34:25.02 About two million chinstraps[br]breed here 00:34:25.02,00:34:29.01 - and they come to this island[br]for a good reason 00:34:34.03,00:34:37.03 It's an active volcano 00:34:37.03,00:34:40.03 The heat from the crater[br]and the fumeroles 00:34:40.03,00:34:42.04 keeps the slopes free from[br]the ice and snow, 00:34:42.04,00:34:46.03 allowing these chinstraps to start[br]breeding earlier than those further south 00:34:51.05,00:34:55.04 But then again, living on an active[br]volcano is not without its risks 00:34:59.05,00:35:03.05 Unlike the emperors, these penguins are[br]able to lay their eggs on the bare ground 00:35:04.06,00:35:06.06 Little wonder so many[br]of them choose to brave 00:35:06.06,00:35:10.05 the mountainous waves[br]in order to get here 00:35:16.07,00:35:18.07 Further south, near the continent, 00:35:18.07,00:35:22.07 the blanket of sea ice[br]is beginning to break up 00:35:25.08,00:35:29.08 Icebergs are gigantic fragments[br]of ice that have broken away 00:35:29.08,00:35:32.09 into the sea from the[br]front of glaciers 00:35:32.09,00:35:35.09 During the winter they[br]were frozen into the sea ice, 00:35:35.09,00:35:39.08 but now they are set[br]adrift once more 00:36:16.13,00:36:20.12 As the bergs break up,[br]they form brash ice 00:36:21.14,00:36:25.13 It litters the backwaters[br]of the Antarctic Peninsula 00:36:44.16,00:36:48.16 Minke whales make their way into[br]these placid waters in summer 00:36:48.16,00:36:52.16 This is the most abundant whale[br]in the Southern Ocean 00:37:03.18,00:37:07.18 Minkes are one of the smallest[br]of all the baleen whales 00:37:07.18,00:37:11.17 And like all others,[br]they come here to feed 00:37:23.20,00:37:27.19 The majestic humpback whales[br]are also summer visitors 00:37:37.21,00:37:39.21 They have travelled thousands of miles[br]from their winter 00:37:39.21,00:37:42.22 breeding grounds in the[br]tropics to gather the food 00:37:42.22,00:37:46.21 that becomes available[br]here in summer 00:38:00.23,00:38:03.24 In just four months,[br]they accumulate enough fat 00:38:03.24,00:38:07.23 to provide them with energy for[br]the whole of the rest of the year 00:38:26.26,00:38:30.25 All these animals have come here[br]in search of one thing - the krill 00:38:32.27,00:38:36.26 Krill is the mainstay of[br]the Antarctic food web 00:38:44.28,00:38:47.28 It occurs in phenomenal quantity 00:38:47.28,00:38:49.28 - billions of individuals[br]in a single swarm, 00:38:49.28,00:38:53.28 and swarms can stretch for miles 00:38:57.29,00:39:01.28 Fur seals also collect this[br]rich superabundant food 00:39:02.30,00:39:06.29 Krill swarms are very patchy,[br]but once found, feeding is easy 00:39:34.33,00:39:38.32 Humpbacks engulf hundreds of thousands of[br]them in a single gargantuan mouthful 00:39:52.35,00:39:55.35 When the going is good,[br]the whales feed continuously, 00:39:55.35,00:39:59.34 each eating up to two tonnes[br]of krill in twenty-four hours 00:40:04.36,00:40:08.36 Further south, near the continent,[br]the sea ice is still sound 00:40:08.36,00:40:11.37 Here, where the ice remains[br]for most of the summer, 00:40:11.37,00:40:15.37 emperor penguins make their home 00:40:15.37,00:40:18.37 These have been feeding out[br]at sea and are now ready 00:40:18.37,00:40:22.37 to make their way back to the[br]colony to feed their chicks 00:40:25.38,00:40:27.38 Instead of heading straight[br]for the ice edge, 00:40:27.38,00:40:31.37 the penguins hesitate[br]some distance from it 00:40:32.39,00:40:36.38 They're nervous 00:40:45.40,00:40:49.39 They dive down and[br]investigate the ice edge 00:41:03.42,00:41:07.41 And for good reason[br]Leopard seals patrol this border 00:41:17.43,00:41:21.44 Leopard seals are the Antarctic's[br]equivalent of polar bears 00:41:21.44,00:41:23.44 They are the top predators 00:41:23.44,00:41:25.44 But they hunt most successfully[br]in the water, 00:41:25.44,00:41:29.43 so by and large, the animals they prey[br]on are safer out on the ice 00:41:38.45,00:41:42.45 They have a lazy grace that belies[br]their ferocious nature 00:41:57.47,00:42:01.46 Confident that the coast is clear,[br]the emperor penguins head for the ice 00:42:03.48,00:42:07.47 But they certainly don't linger 00:42:46.52,00:42:50.51 Now they have a long walk[br]back to the colony 00:42:55.53,00:42:59.52 Emperor penguin colonies are some[br]way back from the ice edge 00:43:00.53,00:43:03.54 In winter they may be as much as[br]a hundred miles from it, 00:43:03.54,00:43:06.54 but as the summer progresses[br]and the ice melts, 00:43:06.54,00:43:09.54 the edge comes ever[br]closer to the colony 00:43:09.54,00:43:13.55 So by the time the chicks are fledged[br]and ready to take their first swim, 00:43:13.55,00:43:17.54 the water is close by 00:43:24.56,00:43:26.56 This colony is in the lee[br]of a headland 00:43:26.56,00:43:30.55 and that prevents the ice from[br]being broken up by ocean currents 00:43:32.57,00:43:36.56 The returning adults are so full[br]of food that they can barely walk 00:43:37.57,00:43:41.56 But with no predator to threaten[br]them now, they can take their time 00:43:50.58,00:43:54.59 Somehow, in this melee of sixty[br]thousand or so penguins, 00:43:54.59,00:43:58.58 a parent has to find its chick 00:44:06.60,00:44:10.60 It returns to the place where it last[br]left its chick in the hope that 00:44:10.60,00:44:14.60 it might still be close by 00:44:15.61,00:44:19.60 But chicks tend to wander,[br]so the adult has to call to it 00:44:34.63,00:44:38.62 The chick responds - and they slowly[br]home in on one another 00:44:39.63,00:44:42.64 The plaintive entreaties[br]of the chick stimulates 00:44:42.64,00:44:46.63 the adult to regurgitate[br]a mouthful of fish 00:44:55.65,00:44:57.65 With the return of one parent, 00:44:57.65,00:45:01.64 the other is free to go[br]to sea to feed for itself 00:45:16.67,00:45:18.67 Aware of the leopard[br]seal's presence, 00:45:18.67,00:45:21.68 the penguins press[br]together at the ice edge, 00:45:21.68,00:45:25.67 unwilling to be the[br]first to risk diving in 00:45:40.69,00:45:44.69 Occasionally, the seal comes out[br]onto the ice and attempts to grab one 00:46:00.71,00:46:04.71 But its most successful strategy[br]by far is to lie in wait 00:46:12.73,00:46:16.72 It hides behind a corner of ice 00:46:18.73,00:46:22.73 The emperors gain confidence[br]and make a dash for it 00:46:33.75,00:46:37.74 The first wave of penguins escape 00:46:38.75,00:46:42.75 Once in open water,[br]they will be safe 00:46:46.76,00:46:50.76 But the seal is alerted by the noise,[br]and through the mass of bubbles, 00:46:50.76,00:46:54.76 it makes its attack 00:47:02.78,00:47:06.77 Almost invariably,[br]it makes a kill 00:47:13.79,00:47:15.79 Encouraged by the absence[br]of the seal, 00:47:15.79,00:47:19.78 the remaining penguins[br]make a break for the open sea 00:47:37.81,00:47:40.81 In time, their chicks will fledge 00:47:40.81,00:47:43.82 And when the Antarctic[br]autumn is near its end, 00:47:43.82,00:47:47.82 these adults will walk across[br]the newly formed ice, 00:47:47.82,00:47:51.81 to endure yet another winter[br]on the frozen sea
BBC - The Blue Planet (1 of 8) - Ocean World
BBC - The Blue Planet (2 of 8) - The Deep
BBC - The Blue Planet (3 of 8) - Open Ocean
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