Big Cats Documentary Review

Miscellaneous

Yesterday I spoke about how I want to read more non-fiction books, I also really want to watch more documentaries and learn more! The first series of the year that I watched is called Big Cats which was on the BBC in January. You can find the series information here. It was a three part series and was truly fascinating.

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Lots is still unknown about the lives of big cats. There are forty different species of big cat and this series does an amazing job in showcasing some of those species. The series is beautifully shot and has some truly incredible scenes. My personal highlights were the rusty spotted cat, the princes cat kittens and the lynx and the snowshoe hare.

The whole series gets you really up close and personal with all of these cats. Many of which are under threat nearing the point of extinction. The third episode introduced the people who are spending their life trying to protect them.

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I think the main things I learnt from watching this series was that big cats come in so many shapes and sizes but each have the most fascinating features that make them a perfect hunter. The cheetahs are obviously fast but their tails help them turn quickly without falling over to chase prey who don’t run in straight lines. They are incredibly agile! The lynx has large paws that work like giant snowshoes which allows them to catch the agile hares in the snow and jaguars have an incredible jaw strength meaning they can crunch down on a turtle shell as easily as I can munch down on crisps! As for the king of the Savannah, the lion, they live in prides unlike every other big cat species and they are amazingly intelligent.

I also loved the styling of the programmes. The music they used was just as majestic as the big cats and the pacing of the programmes kept me enthralled throughout the whole of each of the three episodes. They showed how the documentary was made at the end of the first two episodes and they gave you all the scientific names for all of these cats (perfect for further research). In the third episode they highlighted how more is being learnt about these cats which for those not in the scientific research world is brilliant. They showed just how amazing and useful camera traps can be and how long and frustrating fieldwork can be.

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Although I’ve always been a fan of the philosophy of look after the little guys in conservation, it’s also essential that we look after these big cats or thy could be lost forever. Like for example the incredibly rare Bay cat that is endemic to Borneo, the documentary highlighted that as soon as the rainforest is turned into a palm oil forest these cats find somewhere else. With a dwindling habitat their population will also dwindle. Documentaries like this really highlight the reasons why conservation is so important and why we need to protect the big cats environment. The third episode particularly left me with a lot of hope for the future for big cats but there is still more work to be done!

In conclusion, this series is wonderfully informing, beautifully stunning and if you have access to the BBC go and watch it now! Here’s a little teaser!

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6 in 60 – Number 37: Habitats

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I’m off on holiday for the next couple of weeks but when I come back I’m going to be doing three different sea habitat 6 in 60s so to get us started lets learn the basics on habitats!

  1. The basic definition of a habitat is “the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism”
  2. For terrestrial mammals by far the most common habitat is forest. Shrub lands and grasslands are the next most favoured habitats.
  3. For marine species, the most common habitat is oceanic followed closely by
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    Burning the forests to make room for Oil Palm Trees.

    intertidal. It is noteworthy that there are no marine mammals in the deep benthic marine zone.

  4. The principle cause of habitat loss is human activity. This activity includes the land and resources we use, all of our production and consumption, and the wastes we discard.
  5. Protected areas are one of the most effective tools for conserving species and natural habitats. They also contribute to the livelihoods and well-being of local communities and society more broadly.
  6. Freshwater habitats include bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. About 3% of Earth’s water is freshwater, but this includes the water locked up in the ice caps and trapped in rocks and soil as groundwater.

The Sources

Facts 1 – 3 come from the IUCN article on habitats. Fact 4 and 5 come from the wwf page on human activities affecting habitats (its also where I got that wonderful picture). Fact 6 comes from the BBC Nature page on habitats.

Want more 6 in 60 – click here!

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6 in 60: Number 28 – Liver

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Hello, if there is one underrated organ in your body its most likely your liver. Therefore you can definitely spend a minute learning about this bad boy and saying thank you!

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  1. The liver is one of the largest organs in the human body and weighs approximately 3 pounds.
  2. The liver converts the nutrients in our diets into substances that the body can use, stores these substances, and supplies cells with them when needed. It also takes up toxic substances and converts them into harmless substances or makes sure they are released from the body.
  3. The liver comes in two lobes, the right lobe is larger than the left lobe. They are connected by a strip of connective tissue that anchors the liver to the abdominal cavity.
  4. When our liver tries to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction  can damage its cells. This damage  can lead to inflammation and scarring as the liver tries to repair itself, this is called oxidative stress.
  5. You can live with only half a liver. Liver transplant is one of the few organ transplants that can come from a living donor.
  6. A common sign of a damaged liver is jaundice, a yellowness of your eyes and skin. This happens when bilirubin, a yellow breakdown product of your red blood cells, builds up in your blood.

The Sources

The first three facts although are commonly known I got directly from the U.S National Library for Medicine. The fourth fact came from drink-aware. The fifth fact comes from the NHS organ donation. The sixth fact comes from the BBC information page on the liver.

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