The crew traveled to North Africa on this week's episode to cover creature life in one of the hottest place on earth; the Sahara. The desert covers one-third of the continent. Sandstorms can be quite frequent and really frightening as a tsunami of sand blankets the desert.
A lone zebra wanders around the Sahara. He can go three days without drinking. He gets some surprise female visitors along the way. However, they are not alone as a posse of young males stand in his way. But he is willing to fight for his only chance to mate in a year. The challenge is on. He eventually won the fight and the heart of a pretty striped lady. Once they mate, the females go away quickly, leaving the poor male all alone once again.
A naked mole rat is shown building tunnels underground as they run forward and backward all day long, digging with their teeth. They end up huddling together for some rest. The queen is the ruler of the colony, just like a queen bee. She is pregnant for most of her life. The princess has been pampered up until now. Once she is ready, she heads outside to find a mate. She sniffs her way around in the dark, stumbles upon a male and starts her own colony of babies.
Barn swallows have a tough journey ahead of them. They leave Nigeria to fly north to their mating ground in Europe. They have to go through the Sahara first. They head to an oasis for some fresh water. However, the lake is five times saltier than the ocean, which is poisonous. Luckily for the birds, thousands of flies drink the poisonous water which filters out the salt. The swallows get their water by squeezing it out of the flies. This is the only stop they make before their final destination, so they need all the flies they can grab.
Camels are called ships of the desert. They are seen trekking through the sand, leaving some of their dung behind. This is great for the dung beetles as they are excited to find one. One particular beetle tries as hard as she can to roll the big ball up a huge sand hill. With no traction to help her out, she eventually gives up before she gets cooked by the hot sun.
Tilapia swim in the dark waters of the desert but they have to do what they can to avoid that crocodile that is looking for a midnight snack. The momma fish leaps around to get out of harm's way but the croc can also do his share of leaping. He gets a meal but this particular fish and her babies are safe for now as she hid them in her mouth.
The silver ants can tolerate hot temps because of their silver skin but not too long. They only have 10 minutes in the heat to snag some food at almost 130 degrees. They spot a carcass lying in the sand so they quickly get to work dragging it to their underground home. The countdown is on. Some of them don't make it back. The searing sun almost fried the ants with the food but they made it home just in the nick of time.
The ultimate desert survivor is the resurrection plant. It blows through the desert sand and hits the water. After a good rainfall, it slowly comes to life. The rain lets it release its seeds and they start flowering. However, the hot sun will kill them off once again until the cycle starts all over again.
This series has been enlightening and extremely amazing. The crew of Africa did an excellent job of capturing some never before seen events in remote parts of the world.
This was the series finale but next week, the team will be shown how they got their footage and how they coped with the elements out there in the wild. Catch this interesting show on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST on Discovery.
Photo credit: xikita/Flickr