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Underwater Worlds (2/3)


This is also part of this series: Wild Indonesia Series (3)

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $249


 

Grade Level: JrH-Adult
Producer: BBC
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 50 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2000
Available in French: No

Indonesia is one of the world's natural wonders. In its underwater wonderland, flamboyant reef fish, huge manta rays and shimmering schools of barracudas ride the strong currents that flow between the 17,000 islands that form stepping-stones between Asia and Australia. The coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea, and here bumphead parrotfish bite off tasty chunks of living coral and hovering cuttlefish mesmerise their prey by pulsing bands of light along their bodies. Deep down, a 12-metre whale shark patrols the waters but despite the fact it has a mouth so wide that it could swallow a man whole, it's a vegetarian, feeding on tiny plankton. Wildlife in Indonesia is weird. There are pygmy seahorses no larger than a fingernail and batfish that swim along the sea bottom mimicking waterlogged mangrove leaves. The strangest of all is a masterly quick-change artist, the mimic octopus.This bizarre animal can change its body shape and behaviour to impersonate whatever it wants to be – a sand-skimming flounder, a deadly sea snake or a poisonous lionfish. All these disguises help to keep it out of trouble. The people of the sea are as fascinating as the wildlife. Off the island of Sulawesi,the Bajau people, known as sea gypsies, live on the water. They used to live their entire lives on boats but have now built villages on stilts out on the coral reefs. A child's pet here is not a cat or a dog, but a huge frigate bird.