Everyone’s favourite naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, returns to our screens tonight with a brand-new one-off documentary. Called Extinction: The Facts (a follow-up to last year’s Climate Change: The Facts), it will look at how human overpopulation, rampant over-consumption, the illegal wildlife trade, climate change, overfishing, pollution and land-use change are all driving the loss of biodiversity across the world.
Large, lazy and very strange-looking – meet the ocean sunfish. This extraordinary animal is certainly very peculiarly-proportioned. Tall but vertically flattened, with a pale, circular body that seems to end abruptly behind its huge dorsal and anal fins, the sunfish almost looks as though it is simply a massive severed head with a short, frilly tail attached.
Our world holds a whole host of glorious natural spectacles, from great starling murmurations to the ethereal display of coral reef spawning. But to me, none is more thrilling than catching a glimpse of the majestic macaw. Screeching their way through the Amazon rainforest, leaving scattered fruit, broken branches, and a considerable quantity of parrot poop in their wake, parrots are simply animals like no other. But high in the treetops, flying far above the dense, dark foliage below, how can you ensure that you see their bright colours?
Back before COVID-19 dominated the headlines, before even the massive fires in Australia destroyed thousands of homes and killed billions of animals, another part of the world was burning. I can still remember seeing, on an online news article almost exactly a year ago, in August 2019, the almost apocalyptic images of huge fires devastating the Amazon rainforest. Smoke from the blaze, the article stated,
Today is Amazon Day and The Nature Nook will be releasing a number of Amazon-related articles. Just to clarify, we aren’t celebrating the world’s largest online marketplace – but we are celebrating the world’s largest rainforest. Today’s What Animal Is It? features a bird that not only lives in the Amazon, but – potential spoilers ahead – also has the word ‘Amazon’ in its name.