上級 7211 タグ追加 保存
On the extensive grasslands of The Plains of Venezuela,
small patches of jungle provide oases for the local fauna.
These jungles are mere specks on the vast open plains, but during the dry season,
when the heat turns the grasslands into an inferno, they are the only the shade,
the only refuge for many of the animals of this forgotten corner of the world.
In the shelter of the forest, the animals find food and protection.
While out on the plains the abundance which follows the rains is soon replaced by the scarcity of the long dry season,
here, among the trees, it is always possible to find food, in the form of fruits, leaves and seeds.
And with so many vegetarians around, hunters, naturally, are also drawn here.
The "matas", as these small Venezuelan forests are called, also contain dangers.
The shadows of the enormous trees provide relief from the burning sun,
but may also at times conceal death.
Our story begins here, in the heart of the forest.
In the shade of the impressive ceibas and mangos our heroine, a morrocoy tortoise,
is enjoying the abundance and the cool of the mata,
little suspecting her luck is about to change.
Though it is a species in danger of extinction, the morrocoys are a sought-after delicacy on the plains.
From time to time, people enter the forest in search of a change from their usual diet of rice and beans,
and the tortoises are both tasty and easy to catch.
Unaware that her life hangs by a thread, our heroine now begins an extraordinary journey.
The plains-dwellers cook them in their shells as soon as they get back to the village.
But luck is on her side.
In her white prison, in a world she is incapable of understanding,
the morrocoy tortoise does not know she is about to discover the different worlds of the Plains of Venezuela.
It will be a long, dangerous journey to get back home.
This is her story, the adventure of a voyage in search of paradise in hell.
During the hot months night comes as a great relief out on the open plains.
For the plains dwellers, this is the time to sit around the fire and exchange their experiences of the day.
Alcohol is passed round, relaxing both mind and body, and making them less alert.
For the captured tortoise, their relaxed mood offers a chance to make a dash for freedom.
With slow steps, she leaves behind certain death and escapes into the night.
But her odyssey has just begun.
Because far away from the forest, the plains are a constant survival test.
At dawn, life, until then hidden, again stirs on the vast open expanses.
Three hundred thousand square kilometres of apparently deserted horizons fill with living shadows.
The animals take advantage of the hours before the heat sets in to eat and gather together.
The entire plain comes to life with the constant movement of thousands of living beings.
The capybaras scare great flocks of red-billed whistling ducks,
whose wing beats sound out over the swamps every day at dawn.
They are just one part of the incredible community of birds on the plains,
where there are more different species than in the United States and England put together.
The forest also comes to life at dawn,
and it does so with the cries of the howler monkeys.
This noisy communication between groups, marking out their territories,
shows that no predator can reach them up in the treetops.
But down below, on the ground, things are very different.
The peccaries are permanently on the alert.
They also take advantage of the cool hours around dawn to make short trips beyond the limits of the forest.
It is a less frequented area, so it is easier to find fruits which have fallen from nearby trees;
a trophy which is often the cause of disputes.
Beyond, stretches the sea of grass, a world open to the sun,
the natural habitat of animals adapted to these conditions, but an unknown world for a tortoise
who has spent her entire life in the shade of the jungle.
Thinking only of returning home,
the morrocoy tortoise sets out across the landscape of parched grasses,
unaware that attentive, yellow eyes are closely observing her.
A burrowing owl sees her approach his nest, and is not prepared to tolerate intruders.
Under the ground, in a pleasant, cool tunnel, his chick is hidden,
and the owl plucks up his courage and tries to scare off the armoured stranger.
The tortoise does not know what is happening.
No bird in the forest in which she lived had ever attacked her.
There, they all know that the morrocoys are inoffensive.
But this is the open plain, and here any animal is a potential enemy.
Confused, the tortoise changes his course, away from the little owl's nest.
This has been her first contact with this new, harsh and hostile world to which she does not belong,
a world she will have to cross if she wants to again reach the safety of the forest.
As the tortoise scuttles off, life again returns to normal for the owl family.
Once the danger has passed, the female emerges from the hole,
accompanied by the only surviving chick from the eleven eggs she had laid,
while the male flies off in search of nearby prey.
The burrowing owls eat almost any animal which is not bigger than them.
If you hope to survive in this harsh environment you can't afford to be a choosy eater,
and these small birds of prey happily devour anything from insects and amphibians to squirrels and lizards.
On this occasion it is a mouse that has fallen into his claws.
The male breaks its neck with his beak, and then carries it back to the hole,
where the female tears it apart and prepares it.
But the chick, which has already developed feathers, becomes impatient,
and decides to take the largest part of the booty into the safety of the nest to devour it in peace.
The burrowing owls rarely dig their own holes.
Generally, they use the tunnels made by another inhabitant of these wide plains,
an ancient animal which in the early morning retires underground.
The nine-band armadillo is one of the descendents of a race of armour-plated creatures
that have lived on earth for millions of years, with virtually no physiological changes.
The armour from which their name comes protects them against enemies
and allows them to make their way through the undergrowth.
But it presents a distinct disadvantage during the hot hours on the plains.
The leathery surface of its dark scales rapidly absorbs heat.
When the sun comes out and temperatures rise, the armadillo's protective shields cause it to overheat,
and it has to seek cover underground.
And this curious survivor of former ages not only does this rapidly and efficiently,
but what's more, digs its burrows at the base of the termite mounds that are scattered across the plains,
an impressive adaptive strategy.
These structures offer the armadillo two great advantages.
On the one hand, they have a sophisticated ventilation system
and, on the other hand, they are full of termites.
The lodger thus has an air-conditioned room and a larder full of food.
For our tortoise, the sun becomes increasingly unbearable.
Its reptile physiology will help it to bear the heat,
but she is disorientated in this dry, suffocating world.
Finally, a breeze carries across the smell of water, and indicates which way she should proceed.
And slowly, patiently she enters the lowlands where the water
left behind after the rains still feeds the last patches of green on the plain.
Swamps and low-lying areas still hold water until well into the dry season.
The soil of the plains is thick clay,
and this is the essential factor making such incredible biodiversity possible
in a place where conditions are so harsh.
Because the clay prevents the water from draining away, and so pools form.
For the animals of the plains, the flooded areas provide relief from the intense heat.
While the burning sun paralyses life on the grasslands,
the fauna of the plains gathers here in search of food and water.
During the day, thousands of birds come here to feed.
Under the shallow waters of the flood areas swim innumerable fish.
As the dry season advances, the patches of water become increasingly smaller
and the fish progressively concentrate, making them easier to catch.
And so, the pool is crowded with fishers.
The American ibises search the cloudy waters for small fish.
They move their extraordinarily specialised beaks from side to side until they find their prey,
fish of between three and five centimetres in length.
If they touch weeds, branches or fish of different sizes they calmly continue their search.
But if the beak brushes up against one of the fish they are looking for,
it will clamp shut with amazing speed,
trapping the victim in twenty-five thousandths of a second
one of the fastest reactions of any vertebrate in the world.
Scarlet ibises, spoonbills, ducks and egrets, American ibises
each one uses a different technique,
hunts different prey and has a different shaped tool, the beak.
It is a mass gathering of specialists with jaws adapted to a specific type of prey,
and so reducing competition among species.
From up in the air, too, there is a beak that can skim the water in search of fish close to the surface,
and that beak belongs to the scissorbill.
Like the ibises, the scissorbills are selective and only close their beaks
if they touch a fish of the right size.
Even so, it is a risky fishing technique because on occasions
the obstacles they come across turn out to be spectacled caimans.
The water masses of the Orinoco basin are often covered in a blanket of bright green.
Millions of water hyacinths colonise the pools, forming small floating forests.
Below the water, the hyacinths form an intricate network, a tangled aquatic maze.
Floating on the swollen shoot of its base leaves, the hyacinths spread out their roots
until they join with those of neighbouring plants,
to such an extent that they completely cover the surface of the pools,
preventing sunlight from penetrating into the water, or gases being exchanged.
This could be fatal for the aquatic fauna and flora.
But the plains also have a powerful army of hyacinth-eaters,
which clear the surface of the water as they incessantly graze.
Thousands of capybaras daily feed on the succulent leaves of the aquatic plants.
These powerful rodents, the largest in the world,
live an amphibious life between the warm clear banks
and this enormous vegetable soup where they find food,
protection and relief from the implacable sun.
To be able to dominate this aquatic world,
the capybaras have acquired important physiological adaptations over millions of years of evolution.
These are their weapons with which to conquer the water:
paws with webbed fingers to swim and dive, and eyes, ears and nostrils placed at the top of the head,
so they can receive all the information from the surface when they are submerged.
A great part of their success in colonising the plains is due to their social behaviour.
The capybaras are very gregarious animals.
The groups are normally composed of thirty individuals,
but can be of up to one hundred, so social links, which begin with the family from the moment they are born,
are vitally important, and must be constantly reinforced.
When it is time to reproduce, the capybaras go into the water.
On land they are more vulnerable so, when they are going to mate,
the male follows the female into a shallow pool
and, beneath the protection of the water, they copulate.
The heat, which becomes increasingly intense as the morning advances,
brings new dangers to the water.
An anaconda approaches the capybaras' pool.
It is an adult, over four metres in length,
and its life is now not as aquatic as it was during the early stages, when it fed on frogs and small fish.
But when the heat becomes unbearable out on the plain,
it returns to its former hunting grounds.
It knows it is now strong enough to catch larger prey,
and silently moves its powerful rings until it is submerged in the water.
The group of capybaras senses the danger.
The adults, who have seen the reptile arrive, keep a careful watch on it.
Only the head of the anaconda is above the water,
as it hopes to go unnoticed until one of the young comes close to its jaws.
But this time, it has been discovered.
The experienced parents raise the alarm, and the group swims off beneath the hyacinths.
Without the surprise factor, the giant anaconda will have no chance of catching them.
Meanwhile, on the banks, a group of turtles has silently witnessed this scene, the anaconda's frustration.
And now, they watch on as an exhausted morrocoy tortoise arrives.
Our heroine has reached the water, guided by the smell.
Here, along the bank, she finally sees animals she recognises.
Turtles sometimes go into the forest to lay their eggs,
and the tortoise has seen them before, close to her home.
But now, she is the intruder.
Though they are very close relatives, in the water the turtles have a great advantage.
She hesitates, raises her head, not daring to advance.
In the distance, she can see the treetops of her beloved jungle.
But in between lies a daunting challenge.
The width of the pool is almost an ocean for the little morrocoy,
and she can't swim as well as her cousins the turtles.
She has never crossed a pool.
In truth, in the jungle where she was born she has never had to swim at all,
so, very unwillingly, she decides to turn back and try to reach the jungle by going around the pool.
And now, out on the plain, the day is really heating up.
During the midday hours the beats down mercilessly on the plains.
The air is burning hot.
A scorched atmosphere robs the ground of humidity, dehydrating everything,
soil, plants and animals.
It is a time of immobility, of extreme stillness.
The entire plain appears to crystallise.
While the animals near the pools spend hours submerged and immobile,
on the plains of the interior the scarce shadows become much sought-after shelters.
The dry season advances, and for the weakest the heat proves too much.
For many, like this cow, the rainy season will never come.
This time of death is a period of abundance for the scavengers and opportunists of the plain.
Animals which are sick or have some physical deficiency
die during these days of suffocating heat.
The dead capybaras attract the turkey vultures and black vultures,
the scavenger birds of the plains, who fight the spectacled caimans for the bodies.
The caimans' normal diet is fish, so they take advantage of any occasion to eat a capybara,
or at least the skin left behind by the voracious scavengers.
In a world of such open landscapes, an animal has hardly died
before a entire horde of black undertakers arrives.
They are not exactly the most appealing of animals,
but they play a vital role in sustaining the ecosystem.
The relentless heat, and the many dead bodies could cause epidemics and diseases
if these death-loving scavengers did not act swiftly and efficiently.
The water levels of the pools continue to fall, and the surface of the plains dries out.
The smaller lagoons become small marshy pools where fish concentrate,
fighting for the last mouthfuls of air and water.
And once again, disaster for some becomes a time of abundance for others.
For the caimans, the small pools represent a veritable feast.
The piranhas crowd together in muddy waters, where the lack of oxygen makes them deathly slow.
So, to catch them all you need do is dive down into the water and swallow them down one by one.
Our tortoise is now travelling across dry ground which until just a few days ago lay beneath the water.
It is fifty degrees centigrade, and her dark shell rapidly absorbs the heat,
while the dust from the dried-out mud chokes her.
This is the plains at their most cruel.
At least she is lucky in that she doesn't depend on the water as much as the fish,
or on body temperature as much as the mammals,
otherwise she too would be dead by now.
Exhausted but persevering, the morrocoy reaches the shore of another pool,
this one on such low-lying land that it will retain some water right through until the rains come.
This time she doesn't hesitate.
A group of leafy trees rises above the water at some distance and, thinking this is the forest,
she enters the cool water which cools down her burning shell, bringing relief from the heat.
But what the tortoise does not know is that what she thinks is the forest is in fact a group of trees in the water,
a place chosen by the American ibises to establish their breeding colony.
These jabiru storks, or wood ibises, always live close to the water.
For them, this is the time to make the nests and bring their young into the world.
The pools shrink and the fish are concentrated, so there is plenty of food and it is easy to catch.
The ideal time to ensure the chicks get enough to eat.
In years when food is abundant, the storks can raise up to five chicks,
though three is the normal number.
Feeding these voracious young is a never-ending job, which both parents share.
But survival is not just a question of food.
Living directly above a pool presents certain dangers.
The chicks know no other world but the leaves and branches, and must stay here,
close by the nest, until they develop feathers, their wings gain strength, and they are able to fly away.
Until then, their lives will depend on prudence.
Beneath the breeding colony lies death.
The apparently peaceful waters hide sharp teeth beneath the green blanket of the water hyacinths.
They are a silent, invisible army with powerful weapons,
patiently waiting to gain revenge on the beings that pursue and devour them on the surface.
They are the piranhas.
The very name inspires respect among the local people:
piranhas, fish armed with powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth,
shadows among the maze of roots, impatient to receive prey coming from above.
If it loses its balance for just a second, the chick will fall to its death.
The army swiftly moves into action, with incredible ferocity,
reducing the victim to bones in just a minute or two.
And then, in seconds, calm is restored the false calm of lurking death.
Immobile among the hyacinths, our heroine has discovered that this is not her jungle home,
but rather a patch of forest floating on water which bites.
She decides to return to the shore as quickly as possible.
Luckily, she is not wounded, nor does she give out smells that would attract the piranhas,
and so, moving slowly, she remains unnoticed in the cloudy waters of the pool.
But, at the surface, close to the shore she is heading for, other eyes are on the lookout.
The tortoise is unaware of the presence of the caiman lurking among the hyacinths.
Hidden and immobile, only his eyes emerge from the water, like periscopes, fixed on the nearby prey.
The tortoise continues to swim, and then, just a few metres away, the predator attacks.
An exhausted capybara has fallen into the jaws of the caiman.
On the plains, weakness means death.
But, the tragic end of the capybara has left the way clear for the frightened morrocoy.
Again on dry land, she continues on her way, dreaming of the peace of her lost paradise.
Since the men took her from her jungle home, many times she has witnessed violence and death.
The plain seems increasingly threatening.
And, though she doesn't know it, the greatest dangers lie ahead.
A growing commotion shatters the burning silence.
The plains are divided into large cattle-breeding estates, and thousands of head of emaciated cattle daily roam across the parched grassland.
For the tortoise, the cattle present no danger, thanks to the protection of her shell.
But, among the forest of legs, she spots the cause of her misfortune, an enemy she has now learnt to avoid.
So, camouflaged among the cattle, she remains immobile until the men pass by.
The plains-dwellers move off without spotting her.
Their only concern now is to round up the cattle and take them to the nearest ranch.
Just like the wild animals, the domesticated cattle are more vulnerable in the dry season.
Infectious diseases attack with virulence,
and the cattle-breeders carry out exhaustive vaccination campaigns to prevent epidemics.
For the vets it is a race against the clock.
The cattle are threatened by numerous diseases:
Leptospirosis, anaemia and derrengadera
a trypanosomiasis which attacks equine populations.
The cattle can infect wild animals such as the capybaras.
And hundreds of thousands of zebus and horses roam free across the dry plain, endangering the ecological stability of the entire system.
The tortoise continues on her way.
She has overcome the dangers of the water, the threat of the caiman,
a close brush with man, and the torture of the sun.
And now, for the first time on the worst day in her life,
a light breeze blows across the plain, announcing sunset.
Fields of death surround her.
The scavengers have had a busy day.
But our tortoise has survived, and now, as the sun goes down, she regains her strength.
She will not rest during the night, but will take advantage of the shadows and the cool
to advance towards her goal: the jungle, her lost paradise.
At dusk, the plains again come to life.
Now that the suffocating heat has passed, the animals renew their activities, as the inferno declares a temporary truce.
And the plains shimmer and glow, showing a different face,
rewarding the survivors with this incredible beauty.
Sunset marks the change between two worlds.
Grasslands, pools and jungle are transformed in the light of the moon.
New creatures come out with the night, creatures that never see the sun,
the least well-known inhabitants of the plains.
In the jungle, the moon guides the way for some old friends of ours.
As they did at dawn, the peccaries return to the edge of the jungle,
again in search of the treasure that has fallen from the trees during the day.
But, as they feed on the fruits, this time the two wild boar are watched by eyes of fire.
A jaguar has heard movements in the undergrowth.
He is perfectly equipped for night-time hunting, and silent as a shadow he approaches the peccaries.
Unfortunately for him, the wind is not in his favour,
and though there is just the slightest breeze, thanks to their keen sense of smell, the boars have detected the feline,
and they immediately run for safety.
The most beautiful killer in the jungle will have to continue on his nocturnal round.
Outside, in open territory, another lover of the dark has emerged from the termite mound where he has spent the day.
And the capybaras leave the pools and venture out onto the meadows to eat the last remaining grass that the sun has not yet scorched.
An army of shadows comes to life on the plains and, among them, our heroine plods on,
steadfast in her determination to reach home.
Nightfall seems to mark a kind of truce.
The tortoise now comes across more relaxed animals, feeding.
Or, like this turtle, laying their eggs in a hole,
which she will scrupulously cover before dawn to keep them safe from predators.
Night will soon be over, and you have to be ready for a new battle in the inferno.
The arrival of the dawn marks the beginning of the cycle of the plains.
The creatures of the light return, and those animals that fear the sun take advantage of the early morning hours.
For the morrocoy tortoise the new day brings pleasant surprises.
On the horizon, in the distance, she can see the outline of a forest,
and with renewed strength she continues on her way.
A little further on, another surprise awaits her.
He comes across another morrocoy tortoise walking in the opposite direction.
For our tortoise, this meeting is something extraordinary.
He knows the hardships the other morrocoy will face if he ventures out onto the plain,
but she has no way of telling him this.
Finally, she continues on her way, without having been able to share information and experiences.
If she had, perhaps our tortoise would have understood why the other one was fleeing from the forest.
Ahead, a column of smoke signals the greatest danger of the plains.
Vast extensions of dry grass are rapidly devoured by the flames,
and the fire advances at the speed of the wind.
The flames pass swiftly by.
There is no wood to slow them down,
and the fire literally flies across the grasslands without reaching high temperatures.
But, though they quickly pass, the flames prove fatal for many of the animals on the ground.
And, as always, opportunists appear to take advantage of the misfortune of others
For a tortoise out on the pasture these fires are a deadly trap.
The unfortunate morrocoy knows that her home is close by,
but experience out on the open plain has taught her that here death is even closer than any goal,
so when she smells the smoke he turns back and desperately seeks shelter.
Death is biting at her heels when, finally, luck smiles on her.
Below a bush, an armadillo's tunnel will be a lifesaver.
The wind rapidly spreads the fire.
From inside the burrow, the flames can be seen for just an instant,
and the smoky breath of their passing indicates the moment it is safe to return to the surface.
Outside, the sea of grass have been laid to waste.
Slowly, the tortoise continues on her way, somewhat disorientated.
The smoke blinds her, and there are still glowing embers on the ground which cause painful burns.
With a firm step, though still frightened,
she tries to make it to the forest across a now unrecognisable landscape.
She sniffs for the smell of the humus and the trees, but the only smell she detects is that of death.
Not everyone has been as lucky as her.
The other tortoise did not find a burrow, and in his case the fire won the race.
The proximity of death confuses her.
The shell of another of her species makes the dangers and tragedies of the plain affect her
as they had not done up to now.
It is time to return to the safety of the jungle where she was born.
And, above the smell of scorched pasture and meat,
she finally detects the sweet, cool smell of the forest.
The humidity retained by the trees has prevented this low-intensity fire from entering the jungle.
Here, life is easier, the surroundings fertile, and food abundant.
Despite appearances, the forest also contains serious dangers.
Many animals, such as the howler monkeys almost never come down to the ground.
Away from the safety of the treetops,
the forest floor is a land of shadows where powerful hunters prowl.
An unsuspecting iguana rests among the lower branches of a young monkey-pod tree.
Its natural camouflage hides it among the intense green vegetation
but, believing it is safe, it is not sufficiently cautious in its movements,
and is immediately spotted by vigilant eyes.
The ocelot doesn't yet know what animal it is, but the iguana's movements have alerted him to the fact that there is something alive here,
and for any feline in the forest something alive means something to eat.
Finally, the ocelot emerges from the jungle, and the iguana sees him.
Immediately, the reptile freezes. It knows that immobility will be its only chance against such an agile enemy.
But this strategy has been employed too late.
Now, he knows what it is and where it is.
And the iguana's fate has been decided.
Though they are small in size, these patches of jungle on the plains are home to large hunters.
The cats are the most efficient of all, and in the forests there are five different species.
Outside, on the grasslands, they have been virtually exterminated by man, who considers them a threat to the cattle,
but here, hidden in the dense foliage,
they survive thanks to the abundance of prey and the green wall that keeps men out.
After an unsuccessful night's hunting, the jaguar is hungry.
He rarely hunts during the day
fear of humans has turned him into a nocturnal predator.
But since the peccaries managed to escape the previous night,
he has not eaten, and his hunger is now urgent.
Unfortunately for him, the howler monkeys have seen him, and raised the alarm.
Now, the entire forest, knowing he is prowling around, is on the alert.
He is not the only hunter searching for prey in the forest.
At the other end of the little jungle another creature of the night lurks among the vegetation.
Almost all the black jaguars have fallen victim to the bullets of the fur hunters.
But their colouring, fatal out in the open, protects them in the darkness of the jungle.
The vigilant howlers don't take their eyes off him, and scream out the threat of his presence.
But a dozing iguana has not heard them.
He is warming up beneath the first rays of sunlight,
and only when the jaguar is virtually on him does he seem to realise just how close death is.
It was a close shave, but the reptiles ability to dive has saved its life.
The jungle offers as many opportunities to catch a prey like this
as for these to escape from their hunters, and so the ecological balance is preserved.
Finally, the longed-for jungle lies before her.
Hungry and tired, exhausted after crossing the inferno,
our tortoise finally reaches her personal paradise.
The jungle hides dangers, but ones she is aware of and knows how to avoid.
It is her home, the place she is adapted to, and after her many trials,
she victoriously enters the shady undergrowth,
the final goal of his risky adventure.
And there to welcome her, shortly after entering the green canopy of the trees,
the morrocoy tortoise finds tasty flowers which restore her strength.
And this is not the only pleasant surprise.
Another morrocoy tortoise has seen her arrive,
and approaches, to check out this intruder who has wandered into his territory.
The saddle-like shape of its shell tells us it is an adult male.
And our travelling tortoise is a female, so there are no problems of territoriality.
The nightmare is over. For her, the jungle means returning to life.
She is back in her natural surroundings, the world into which she was born, and now the future is promising.
She has shelter, food, and even a mate.
But she will not easily forget her journey across the open plains.
After all, not everyone ventures into hell and lives to tell the tale.


Morrocoy Turtle Journey. Paradise in Hell | Full Documentary - Plantet Doc Full Documentaries

7211 タグ追加 保存
kevin 2015 年 3 月 3 日 に公開
  1. 1. クリック一つで単語を検索


  2. 2. リピート機能


  3. 3. ショートカット


  4. 4. 字幕の表示/非表示


  5. 5. 動画をブログ等でシェア


  6. 6. 全画面再生


  1. クイズ付き動画


  1. クリックしてメモを表示

  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔