“Birds were flying from continent to continent long before we were. They reached the coldest place on Earth, Antarctica, long before we did. They can survive in the hottest of deserts. Some can remain on the wing for years at a time. They can girdle the globe. Now, we have taken over the earth and the sea and the sky, but with skill and care and knowledge, we can ensure that there is still a place on Earth for birds in all their beauty and variety — if we want to… And surely, we should.”– Sir David Attenborough (The Life of Birds)
Migration is one of the greatest phenomenon to exist across species and kingdoms; it’s a movement on a large time and spatial scale that takes wonderful forms. However, these annual events have just been reduced to segments of an organism’s life that enhances survival, by both scientists and the public.
But the level of intensity, the ludicrously-long distances and the treacherous conditions migratory animals go through continues to perplex the scientific community till date. This perhaps sheds a light to the more complex side of non-human species, one that is more about striving for a bigger purpose than just surviving.
Listen to this episode to hear about some of the world’s most beautiful but tough migrations and how these mass movements of many species can teach us a bit more about our human ways.
- Examples of some of the longest migrations
- The problem that scientists have on pinning down the true reason behind migrations
- Five key characteristics of each migration
- Greater meaning behind migrations than just survival
- Toughest animal migrations: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/03/160326-animals-migrations-birds-mammals-insects-caribou/
- Arctic tern: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/1/100111-worlds-longest-migration-arctic-tern-bird/
- Bar-tailed godwit: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2007/09/alaska-bird-longest-mirgation/
- Wildebeest: https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2017/02/08/how-does-the-great-wildebeest-migration-work/
- Humpback whales: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/11/humpback-whale-migration-pod-video/
Thanks for listening!
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