Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Survival Island * * *

survival_islandSouth Georgia Island is the site of many long-term studies on albatrosses and penguins and I have worked with much of this data as part of my work on estimation of population status for long-lived species. However, I have never actually seen any of these animals. So I was very interested to see this IMAX dvd shot on South Georgia Island and featuring some of the animals I have known only as data points.

South Georgia Island is the sole available breeding location in a huge part of the southern ocean. It is off Anarctica about 9 days steaming time from the Falklands. Normally it is an inhospitable place, but for a few months in summer, it is teeming with life. Pretty much every square inch of habitable space is occupied by some critter: King penguins, macaroni penguins, fur seals, albatrosses, and elephant seals are featured prominently in this dvd.

This dvd is pretty short, just over 30 min. It's pretty straight-forward wildlife photography -- there is no 'story'. There is a bit of education about the life histories of the species. The cinamatography is ok, but nothing spectacular like March of the Penguins or the recent Deep Blue dvd that I reviewed. Nonetheless it will be interesting to nature enthusiasts, and there are many interesting shots. The shots of penguins and seals traveling long distances like dolphins leaping out of the water was especially neat to me. Karina and I watched it twice. There is no disturbing animal-animal violence, although there is a kind of disgusting scene of skuas eating a dead seal.

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