Life's Coping Skills (02:17)
Deep in South America lays Patagonia, a landscape home to unique animals. The Andes Mountains, a desert called the Patagonian Steppe, and the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean make up Patagonia.
Broom of God (03:01)
The Andean condor is three meters in wingspan and one of the heaviest flying birds. Strong winds move toward the Atlantic coast.
Joining the Family Herd (03:03)
Guanacos, wild ancestors of the llama, travel in herds. A female guanaco delivers a calf as she stands and the newborn’s legs are over a meter long at birth. A fox eyes the calf hungrily but the guanaco mother chases it away.
Exhausting Battles (02:03)
A male guanaco attacks another, biting its testicles. They leap at one another, colliding in battle. The winner mates with the female.
Spirited Blooms (02:58)
Above Patagonia, forceful winds create lenticular clouds. On the ground, Andean sweet peas and porcelain orchids bloom. The biggest bird in Patagonia, Darwin's rhea, has a polygyny style of mating, with one male fathering the eggs of many females.
Flightless Single Father (02:14)
Once the male rhea's eggs have hatched, his four chicks grow quickly, developing fat to protect them from the winds. They eat everything from plants to lizards and will be one meter in height after eight months.
Survival Tactics of Flamingos (03:03)
Nomadic Chilean flamingos live up to 50 years. As the temperature drops, they leave the pools they usually feed in to avoid ice. They are able to travel up to 400 kilometers per day in search of a lake full of crustaceans to feed upon.
Kingdom of Grasses (03:57)
The Patagonian Steppe is a desert three times the size of Britain. The dry desert is dominated by grasses. Merino sheep thrive here and are the main source of culture and economy for the gauchos.
Shearers of Patagonia (02:47)
After gauchos have rounded the sheep, shearers take over. They describe the job as difficult and physically demanding.
Architect of Excavation (02:41)
Surviving in windy Patagonia often requires community. The armadillo finds grubs and larvae underground, sniffing out the bugs with his high powered sense of smell. A couple of burrowing owls adopt an armadillo's burrow as their home.
Hive of Activity (04:09)
Maras force the burrowing owls out of the armadillo's burrow to take it over for themselves.
Railway People (03:56)
The first people of Patagonia led nomadic lives, but Welsh settlers in 1855 dropped roots along the rivers. The Patagonian Express, a miniature steam train known as La Trochita, transports settlers in and exports out.
Wandering Tarantulas (03:55)
The male's lifespan is short and he will die soon, but he is prowling the Patagonian Steppe looking for a female's lair.
Snuffed Out Worlds (02:00)
Near the edge of the continent, Patagonia is so dry that little survives, though at one time, it was a verdant forest. Remaining as evidence are tree trunks petrified into stone, but the height of the Andes Mountains now prevents rain from reaching the end of the continent.
Suffering the Heat (03:18)
A large colony of Magellanic penguins resides in the Patagonian Desert despite its extreme weather. A competition for a burrow gets bloody. A mated couple takes refuge here for the dry air, which is integral to the survival of chicks.
Desert Threats (03:42)
The penguin fathers swim in the ocean to fish for eight hours while the mothers continue to suffer the heat under layers of fat and feathers. Mothers protect chicks from kelp gulls.
Credits: Heat and Dust: Wild Patagonia (00:47)
Credits: Heat and Dust: Wild Patagonia
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