Musk oxen in the Arctic, video


This 31 July 2018 video says about itself:

Watch Musk Ox Battle One of the Harshest Climates on the Planet | Short Film Showcase

High in the frozen Arctic, musk oxen have been roaming the tundra for thousands of years. Their long, shaggy hair makes them well-adapted to the frigid climate as they roam the tundra in search of roots, mosses, and lichens.

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Arctic, Antarctic seas, 10 hour video


This 6 June 2018 video is called Frozen Seas: 10 Hours of Relaxing Oceanscapes | BBC Earth.

A bird’s eye view of the Arctic. Unmanned aircraft systems for Arctic research: here.

Over 100 bowhead whales seen in Arctic ocean


This January 2018 video is called Ice Giants [Bowhead Whale Documentary].

From Wageningen University in the Netherlands:

At least 100 Bowhead whales sighted in the East Greenland Sea

June 12, 2018

Scientists of Wageningen Marine Research have just returned from the Arctic after a successful expedition organised by Oceanwide Expeditions, Inezia Tours & Natuurpunt. During the spring, whilst working in the Greenland Sea to the Southwest of Spitsbergen, the scientists discovered a group of at least 100 foraging bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). This is a rare and endangered whale which is believed to be almost extinct and is consequently classed as ‘Critically Endangered’ according to the IUCN.

For some years scientists from Wageningen Marine Research have worked as expedition guides on board the expedition vessel Plancius from Oceanwide Expeditions. Since 2015, increasing numbers of bowhead whales have been observed on the edge of the pack-ice off East Greenland during these expeditions, but this year all previous numbers were exceeded. On the 1st June 2018, during almost 7 hours steaming along the pack ice, a total of 104-114 bowhead whales were systematically counted.

The bowhead whale is well adapted to live in the Arctic and is therefore the only large whale that can survive year-round in this extreme climate and specifically along the pack-ice. The sub-population of bowhead whales in the area of Spitsbergen/Greenland Sea has been greatly reduced since the whaling operations from the 16th century [on] and consequently this subpopulation, which is estimated to number ‘several hundreds of whales’ is now listed as Critically Endangered on the Red List of the IUCN.

In 2015, during a similar expedition, a total of 90 bowhead whales were recorded. It became immediately clear to the scientists that this type of data has an important scientific value as so little is currently known about this species that occurs in the Greenland Sea. The data indicate that the bowhead whales gather along the pack-ice during May/June. Old whaling data from the 16th century onwards highlight that the whales were hunted in the waters to the northwest of Spitsbergen (in April/May) and migrated south-westward by late spring (adult males and females without calves), while others moved north from Spitsbergen into the receding pack ice. Acoustic data has recently shown that during the winter months the bowhead whales occur further north off West Spitsbergen.

The bowhead whales were intensively hunted from the 16th century onwards for several hundred years and the various subpopulations that occur in the Arctic have yet to recover. Added to this the species’ very survival is now under threat from climate change. Even though it appears that the Spitsbergen sub-population may be larger than previously assumed, continued international research is still very necessary. In spite of the exceptional numbers of Bowhead whales encountered by the scientists this spring it is clear that this long-lived whale continues to be on the brink of extinction.

Walrus in BBC Planet Earth II, video


This video says about itself:

Filming Walrus With The Megadome – Blue Planet II – Behind The Scenes

The team use a very special underwater camera housing called the megadome which enables them to film in super wide-angle, allowing the audience to see both above and below water simultaneously. With a fully grown mother walrus to contend with, David Reichart the cameraman must take special care not to disturb his subject or risk a tusk in the head!

Scientists have uncovered a 10 million year old walrus fossil in Japan. Despite lacking the tusks that modern walruses are famous for, the fossil is still part of the same family as present-day walruses: here.

Hundreds of polar bears eat dead whale


This video about Arctic Siberia says about itself:

Hundreds of Polar Bears Gather to Feast on Whale Carcass

29 September 2017

According to a Wrangel Island news release, at least 230 polar bears gathered on Wrangel Island to gorge on a dead bowhead whale, which washed ashore Sept. 19.

From the Heritage Expeditions blog:

SHO: An unbelievable experience at Wrangel Island

19 September, 2017

I simply don’t know where or how to start this blog .. today has been one of those days I or anybody else with me will never ever forget. You had to live it to believe it, even now there are people pinching themselves to make sure it really happened, but I get ahead of myself.

The day started at 0530 with an early breakfast. We were anchored near Pitchy Bazar on the western coast of Wrangel Island. The Island was coated with a fresh coating of snow, a huge contrast to yesterday’s blue sky and warm weather at the Clark River. The early morning lighting that accompanied the sunrise was surreal. There were several options, ranging from the very easy to the more extreme.

I was on beach patrol with some folk on the easier walk when a young bear wandered our way. He had attitude and he was definitely interested in us. We persuaded him to move on and he lay down about 50 metres away in the snow and watched us. It was a close but incredibly fascinating encounter. Little did we know there were even more incredible things to come. What we saw (and experienced) next will rewrite expedition travel experiences. We were cruising down the coast and saw a “herd” or “convention “ of Polar Bears on/near the beach. There was a dead bowhead whale and we counted over 150 Polar Bears (of all ages, sexes and sizes) that were either feeding or had been feeding on it in the immediate vicinity of the whale. We launched the zodiacs for a closer look and that is the memory we will all carry with us … there are no words to describe it. I share one photo in the hope that it will portray something of our experience.

We leave Wrangel Island tonight on the last leg of this journey.

Rodney Russ – Expedition Leader, Owner and Founder

I had years ago the privilege of being on an expedition with Rodney Russ. Not to the Arctic; to New Zealand subantarctic islands like Campbell island.

The video shows the dead whale had attracted glaucous gulls as well.