Serengeti Wildlife (01:30)
On this episode of “Round Planet,” host Armstrong Wedgewood (Matt Lucas) turns his attention to wildebeests. In the shadow of Ol Doinyo Lengai, an immense and fertile grassland teems with herd animals.
Blue Wildebeests (03:16)
A herd of Brindled Gnus prepares to depart on a life or death journey. They will travel a thousand miles in search of new grazing grounds. Quelea birds celebrate the start of the dry season.
Mating Season (03:23)
Wildebeests do everything on the move. Males joust to draw the attention of females. By June, the females are pregnant and the males exhausted; the dry season is underway at the wildebeests' point of origin.
Life Threatening Challenges (02:39)
By September, the herd has reached the northern limits of the Serengeti National Park; they consume 5,000 tons of grass a day. The wildebeests encounter crocodiles as they attempt to cross the Mara River.
Serengeti Scavengers (02:42)
Vultures ride thermals above the grasslands, scanning the grounds for a meal. Their stomach acid can kill anthrax and rabies. Hyenas also help with carrion. The southern plains are parched and plagued by wildfires.
Predator and Prey (02:49)
Fires destroy the vegetation lions use for cover. As prey becomes more scarce, they widen their options and catch a warthog. Rain falls and a lion bothers a tortoise.
Wildebeest Return (03:38)
The plains turn green following the rains. The herd deposits over 2,000 tons of dung every day. Dung beetles use their sense of smell to locate the feces and mandibles to extract nutrients.
Calving Season (04:13)
Nearly 400,000 baby wildebeests and zebras are born during a four-week window. The calves are on their feet and able to run soon after birth. Cheetahs pick off stragglers from the herd.
Credits: Round Planet: Wildebeest (00:31)
Credits: Round Planet: Wildebeest
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