ECOSYSTEM: “Harvey, Houston, and the Science of Wetlands” / Watching the Hawks RT / Tabetha Wallace, and Tyrel Ventura ☮

Why has Hurricane Harvey exacted such devastating flooding on the city of Houston? The city’s mistreatment of its wetlands may be part of the reason, as Watching the Hawks’ Tabetha Wallace explains.

NATURE: “Why Peregrine Falcons are the Fastest Animals on Earth” / Vox ☮

Cheetahs may pop up faster in search results, but peregrines are actually the fastest animals on earth.

This video features a clip courtesy of Human Planet, a BBC, Discovery Channel and France Television Co-Production.

Check out BBC Earth Unplugged’s video of “Falcon vs Car”:https://youtu.be/iq5DxzTTVgo

Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals of the land—and it’s no wonder, their bodies are built for speed. While cheetahs can run up to 70 mph on land, peregrine falcons can dive at speed of over 200 mph. That’s faster than a 100 mph sneeze and around the same speed as a Formula One racing car. Peregrines are light in weight, aerodynamically shaped, and have robust respiritary systems; all of which allows them to be the fastest birds of prey, and animals in general. Peregrine falcon numbers took a massive hit during much of the 20th century in North America. They became nearly extinct because of pesticides, specifically DDT. The chemical made the falcon’s—and many other birds — eggshells thinner, preventing the embryos from developing, in addition to poisoning adult falcons. In 1972, DDT was banned and recovery efforts for peregrine falcons began soon after. By 1999, with concerted effort peregrine falcons saw their numbers increase dramatically and were removed the Endangered Species list.

NATURE DOCUMENTARY – OCEANOGRAPHY: “Desert Seas” / National Geographic / Narrated by David Attenborough ☮

Desert Seas narrated by David Attenborough tells the story of how the peninsula of Arabia transformed from an ocean millions of years ago to the desert it is today.
The Gulf is now home to a myriad of sea creatures but, just as Arabia was once ocean, a mere 10,000 years ago this expanse of water was a swampy flood plain.
Since it drowned as sea levels rose, the Gulf is now the world’s hottest and saltiest open sea.
The Red Sea, on the other hand, is a far older coral-fringed chasm formed as plate tectonics pulled Africa and Arabia apart; its reefs are prowled by huge moray eels and their shrimp entourages.
Splash into the waves that line this desert land and join us as we explore these waters in stunning HD and see what other treasures hide within these mysterious and little-studied seas.