50|50 Episode 12 Season 8: 25 June 2017
Coral gardening: X-men coral of the Seychelles
Often called “rainforests of the sea”, shallow coral reefs form some of the most diverse and important ecosystems on Earth. Corals are living organisms made up of tiny animals called polyps, embedded in calcium carbonate that they deposit around themselves, ultimately growing into multi-shaped reefs that support a myriad life. Unfortunately climate change has seen the bleaching of many of these reef systems, leading to their destruction. We discover a whole new type of gardening… under the sea! Scientists have discovered special climate resistant varieties of coral that they believe could reverse the massive wide scale bleaching that reefs are currently facing. Bertus is off to the Seychelles and dives head first into these underwater nurseries to find out more about these ‘X-men’ corals.
In die Spervuur: Bats
Bats can eat up to 1 200 mosquitoes in an hour and they often consume their body weight in insects every night. A small colony of bats can eat over one ton of insects in one year, or more than 600 million insects. In spite of the ecological service these mammals provide to man and ecosystem alike, they are disappearing right in front of our eyes.
Wonderwêreld: Ragged tooth sharks
We dive deep into the ocean to meet on of the most frightening looking shark species with a grin that will turn your blood cold. But although they may have a mouth full of terrifying teeth that give them their name, these docile sharks are in fact not aggressive towards humans, and perform a vitally important part of the underwater eco-system.
This week’s VeldFokus is all about growing up, with some lovely examples of parenting from a variety of creatures. A pair of Oyster catchers share the parenting role, while with hyenas, it’s definitely more of a group effort.