BBC’s Planet Earth II Sneak Peek

Ten years ago, the BBC debuted it’s amazing series, Planet Earth, which documents┬ábeautiful, intriguing, and rare moments of life on Earth. Planet Earth II promises to capture even more amazing moments, taking advantage of significant advances in filming technology. ┬áSimilar to the original series, Sir David Attenborough will narrate.

Watch the full trailer below:

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Oarfish Spotted in Natural Habitat

The oarfish is a rarely seen giant of the deep. Measuring up to 17 meters (55 feet), the oarfish had previously only been seen dead or dying after being washed up on shore. This sighting, by scientists in Gulf of Mexico, may be the first of the fish in its natural habitat.

The creature was spotted using a remotely operated vehicle, which allows scientists to observe sea life at depths that are otherwise unreachable.

For more and to see a video of the oarfish, visit BBC News.

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Chimps Make a Movie

A group of 11 chimpanzees living in Edinburgh, Scotland have created a film using specially created cameras dubbed ChimpCams. The movie came about as part of research being done by primatologist Betsy Herrelko, who is studying for her PhD.

Herrelko introduced the video technology to the chimps over an 18 month period. She created two goals for the chimpanzees: to learn to select videos to watch using a touchscreen and to learn to record their own videos using the ChimpCam.

By observing what videos the chimpanzees watched, Herrelko was able to determine what chimpanzees prefer to see. The chimps were allowed to choose videos of their enclosure or video of the area where zoo staff prepares their food. While an in-depth analysis of their viewing habits has not been done, it appears that the chimps have no preference for either set of videos.

The chimps were much more interested in the ChimpCam and enjoyed watching the video screen as they filmed their lives in the enclosure.

The film, ChimpCam, will be shown on BBC 2 on Wednesday, January 27th.

For more, and for a clip of the film, visit the BBC.

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Chimps Use Tools to Cut Food

Chimps have been observed using stone and wooden cleavers to chop up food in the Nimba Mountains of Guinea, Africa. The chimps were seen breaking into Treculia fruits, which are hard shelled and volleyball-sized, and then cutting them into smaller portions.

Chimps have been observed using tools in the past to find food, including stones to crush nuts and twigs to fish termites out of holes. This is the first time that chimps have been seen using tools to process food after obtaining it.

Read more at the BBC.

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Tazzy Facial Cancer Origins Discovered

Tasmanian devils have been threatened with extinction because of devil facial tumor disease, a fast spreading cancer. In the past 10 years the population of devils has declined by 60% as a result of the fast spreading disease.

Researchers have found that the tumors are spread through physical contact between devils, most likely biting to the face.

Researchers have also found that cells that are meant to protect nerves are likely the origin of the disease. The implications of this discovery have not been fully realized yet but may include new ways to test for the disease and a potential for an eventual vaccine.

Read more about the discovery at the BBC.

Read more about the Tasmanian devil at Animal Fact Guide.

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