Television

Animal Planet circles the globe for 'Animal Battlegrounds'

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MUMBAI: The battle between animal predator and prey may look like a straightforward duel between evenly matched opponents, but there is a third factor in these confrontations – the battleground itself.

The arenas which stage these epic battles are more than just passive backdrops. Battlegrounds are often overlooked, but they are dynamic, dominant and controlling places. The ever changing landscape can tip the balance between the hunter and the hunted – it’s the battleground itself that determines who lives and who dies.

Now Animal Planet takes a closer look at the showground for these conflicts in Animal Battlegrounds which will air every Saturday at 8:30 pm with a repeat every Wednesday at 11:30 pm.

The show reveals the effect of the battleground on the hunter and the hunted and how changes in the battleground influence the result of these battles. Viewers explore how each animal has learned to use the dynamic battleground to their own advantage. Battlegrounds have a temperament all of their own and each episode will look at the character of the landscape and how the battleground affects the outcome of all animal battles.

Travelling across the globe, viewers visit battlegrounds from the polar wastes to the scorching deserts; from the richness of the rainforests to our colorful seas; from the expanses of the world’s flat grasslands to the heights of its snowy mountains. The battlegrounds include Rivers, Seas, Air, Wetlands and Grasslands. Each episode will analyze four epic predator-prey battles in the context of these dynamic battlegrounds.

The first episode Tundra looks at a vast area of barren treeless plains, most of which lies in the Arctic where the ground is permanently frozen. Viewers look at how golden eagles use precision flying to attack mountain hares in the Highlands of Scotland and how the hares use the seasonal changes in vegetation to their advantage.

Also, this programme tells the story of how barnacle geese in the tundra in Greenland use the sanctuary of 20 story high cliffs to nest safely from predators and how their starving flightless chicks then have to make a death defying leap to reach the ground and food. Finally, viewers see how one of the longest migrations on earth is driven by one of the smallest animals, the mosquito.

In Rivers the show looks at how the environment, and changes within it, affects both predators and prey, often shifting the advantage from one to the other. This episode looks at rivers. Their depth, speed, turbulence and turbidity all influence the outcome of battles between predators and prey. Grizzly bears try to catch salmon in Alaska. Mayfly nymphs and adults dodge trout in Britain. Kingfishers dive for minnows as the seasons change in Europe. Piranhas battle through the wet and dry season in Venezuela.

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