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Surviving A Hostile Planet
by Othniel Creator Mbamalu for SpaceDaily.com
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 01, 2019

HOSTILE PLANET is a ground-breaking wildlife series that explores Earth's most hostile environments. Over the course of six episodes, we explore the extremes of deep, high, cold, hot, wet and dry and reveal the truly extraordinary ways in which animals have adapted to survive in the face of great adversity. It's always been a HOSTILE PLANET and yet, in the last 40 years, it's got a whole lot tougher for the wildlife. The world has changed more in the last 40 years than at any time in the last 65 million. So animals in the most hostile places on Earth must adapt in the blink of an evolutionary eye. Facing everything from intrinsically hostile habitats and brutally punishing weather to the unrelenting threat of predators and intense competition for resources, their challenge is simple: adapt or die.

Humans are probably the most well-adapted species on the planet; they can survive in and call home any of Earth's biomes.

Our adaptation is a result of our intellect as well as favourable physical attributes.

We can build machines and systems that help us cope with and master natural conditions better than any other species that ever lived.

While this has been great for the human species, it also means we are one of the least physically adapted animals to walk the planet.

Adaptation for survival in the harshest of conditions is time intensive and is rife with failures and death.

Take a hibernating polar bear for instance; it must store enough body fat for the impending long cold winter fast if it will have a good chance for surviving.

Desperation is plenty, and a sense of certainty is elusive, there is a good chance that an unsuccessful hunt might be the last chance for food before starvation and ultimately death sets in.

Nature is beautiful, but nature can be brutal as well, and this brutal and unforgiving side of nature is what the National Geographic documentary Hostile Planet seeks to show.

Human babies are treated with much care and treated as fragile as they should, in the animal world, a newborn begins its journey of survival long before it has begun to understand the world it was born into, it must learn quickly or die.

A baby Gelada baboon of the Ethiopian Highlands could be a target for murder by a new dominant male looking to mate with a nursing mother, and the females have been known to sometimes miscarry as a way of avoiding this traumatic experience.

Male adults compete for dominance and an opportunity to mate with females because only one dominant male gets all the females in a reproductive group. This limited opportunity could lead to very violent and sometimes fatal exchanges.

Hostile planet puts its audience in the middle of these sought of conflict and survival endeavours with pictures that offers maximum educational, entertainment as well as shock value.

Most documentaries in the past while probably adequate in their attempt to tell of conditions of life in the wild have not gone nearly as far as Hostile Planet has.

Hostile Planet does not shy away from the sheer brutality which in any case is an essential attribute of nature; instead, it puts it front and centre.

An experience so immersive for the audience, that you will feel like you are living the life a subject animal.

The importance of shooting a documentary and telling the story this way is that it highlights the current and new challenges these animals face, new challenges like extremely rapid climate change.

These animals have adapted to their natural environments with near perfection, to find mates, to find food, to avoid being food, to conserve energy and body heat, but these adaptations are a product of a balance over very long periods.

As habitat destruction and climate change become a bigger problem, most of these animals will have a hard time adapting quickly enough to avoid extinction.

The full effect of loss of natural habitat, a mass extinction or massive decline in numbers of whole groups of animals is not yet fully known, but given the amazing numbers of known and unknown symbiotic relationships among plant and animal species, there is little doubt it will be catastrophic both for Man and Wild Life likewise.

Perhaps this film while helping us observe and enjoy the journeys of these amazing and sometimes terrifying creatures we share our planet with, it might also serve to help us save it.

Related Links
Hostile Planet at National Geographic
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

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In Hunt for Life, Astronomers Identify Most Promising Stars
Ithaca NY (SPX) Mar 27, 2019
NASA's new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is designed to ferret out habitable exoplanets, but with hundreds of thousands of Sun-like and smaller stars in its camera views, which of those stars could host planets like our own? TESS will observe 400,000 stars across the whole sky to catch a glimpse of a planet transiting across the face of its star, one of the primary methods by which exoplanets are identified. A team of astronomers from Cornell University, Lehigh University and ... read more

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