Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Planet Earth 2

Have you seen any of the BBC's Planet Earth 2 series?

The series is broken down into segments, each episode takes on the animals of that particular segment even if they live across the globe from one another.

One episode was about islands.

We learned about the 3-toed sloth.

Oh my goodness.

This sloth was hanging out in a tree when he heard a mating cry.

The slowness in which he reacted is quite fast for his species according to the narrator, David Attenborough.

He's looking towards the mating call. 
David Attenborough has the type of soothing voice 
that could make Winnie the Pooh seem harsh.

And his brother played John Hammond 
in Jurassic Park!

Back to the sloth.

After hearing the mating call, the sloth jumped into the water and started swimming toward the cry.

I'm not sure why but this struck me funny.

I've never really had a reason to believe a sloth couldn't swim but I sure didn't expect him to look like a tourist on vacation rather than a sloth on a mission to find his soul mate.

He's doing the doggy paddle.

I didn't get the feeling that there was a great deal of urgency.

He got all the way across this inlet only to find out the mating call wasn't for him and he had to turn around and super casually swim back.

Womp womp.

It was like the Charlie Brown of sloths.

The scariest part of this episode was showing the perils of being a baby iguana.

They hatch on rocky beaches and must RUN AS FAST AS THEY CAN to the higher elevation of rocks by the water where their parents are waiting for them.

They must RUN because speed snakes are waiting and watching for them under rocks near by.

Yes. I said speed snakes.

These snakes are HUGE and they got their name honestly.

They are FAST!

I've never rooted for an iguana in my life like I did these newborns.

"GO! GO! GO!! 

My hands are sweating from watching that again.

Did you see that snake lunge at the baby iguana with his MOUTH OPEN in a last ditch effort to stop him?!

Isn't that just like the devil to try to WIDE-MOUTH bite us 
when we are two steps from freedom? 

We went to the Florida Keys for spring break.

It's much more tropical than south Florida.

In fact, the girls kept asking us if we were still in America.

At the pool of our hotel, there was a waterfall spilling over rocks into the pool so that guests could walk under it.

Iguanas were ALL over the rocks.

They were fascinating to watch!

I was an instant fan 
because… Planet Earth 2.

Sometimes, in the morning, we'd see 3 or 4 iguanas squeeze out of holes in the rocks where they had slept overnight.

I can only imagine how cozy
those accommodations were.

The iguanas became our live version of Planet Earth 2.

Except, THANK THE LORD, there were no speed snakes around. 

I would've run the entire way back to Ohio 
if I'd caught even a glimpse of a speed snake 
eyeballing one of my iguanas.

They became our entertainment.

From a distance.

One did come down to the pool deck and sniffed around a few sunbathers.

I preferred them at a distance.

I couldn't believe how dinosaur-like they seemed.

Slap on a back fin and they would resemble a baby Dimetrodon.


There was always a "changing of the guard" of who got the highest rock. They'd raise their head high up towards the sun and close their eyes. They'd remain still, in the same position, for long stretches of time.

Around day 3 of watching my iguanas, I determined Monte had lots of similar characteristics.

He agreed.

I just happened to be videoing my iguanas when I caught this interesting behavior:

After doing some research, I found out that the thingy-do under the iguana's neck is called a dewlap. Males puff it out for any number of reasons:  territorial, temperature regulation, greeting, warning or 

"Hey, female iguana, you are kind of cute."

Who knows what was happening in the mind of that iguana on that particular day and that particular rock.

Our research also informed us of why we saw so many hawks circling the pool.

They fly off with the iguanas!!

I was sharing this upsetting revelation with Monte and how APPALLED I would've been if we'd actually WITNESSED the iguana snatching when he glazed over a bit and said,

"That would've been awesome!"

After doing some research, I found out that the doohickey under the iguanas neck is actually called a dewlap.

Males puff out their dewlap for any number of reasons:  territorial, temperature regulation, warning or just a,

"Hey, how you doin'?" 

to any females nearby.

Our research also informed us of why we saw so many hawks circling the pool area.


I was sharing this upsetting revelation with Monte and emotionally expressing HOW APPALLED I'd be if we'd actually witnessed an iguana snatching when Monte glazed over a bit and said, 

"That would've been AWESOME!"

I blame Planet Earth 2.

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