Monday, October 19, 2009

BBC Life: New series, sorta kinda like the Planet Earth series, 2.0

The pebble toad bounces away as a method of escape.

Oreophrynella nigra or Pebble Toad is a species of toad in the Bufonidae family. It is found in Venezuela and possibly Guyana. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montanes and swamps.

When threatened the toad folds its limbs under its body, tucks its head in and tenses in a ball position. If on an incline, this causes it to roll down the slope, escaping the attentions of its predator. Its cryptic colouring blends with its sandstone habitat.

"Filming the bouncing toad was very challenging; the remote mountain plateau is one mile high and 26 square miles in area, whilst the toad is one inch long and very elusive. The tarantulas which prey on them are also very hard to find. To give the crew the best chance of finding and filming them, the expert on these creatures came on the shoot. He searched for a week before the crew's arrival to find both species and a location where they could come together and where the toad would demonstrate its bouncing-ball method of escape. This allowed the cameraman to set up his slow-motion camera in the right place. The scientist was able to ensure that the toad was never in danger of being harmed by the tarantula as a result of us filming them. The technique was a total success - the toad tucked its legs in, rolled and bounced, allowing the crew to film its method of escape in slow-motion detail."

Here are two more videos from the series:

Jesus Lizard walks on water:

Pygmy Gecko, floating on water

Really gorgeous series.. the slow-motion film, along with the camera angles really makes this look great.

(via Gizmodo)