In 'Blue Planet II' Episode, Meet The Fish Afraid Of The Sea

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“These Pacific leaping blenny seem afraid of the waves. They are poor swimmers and would be easy prey in the sea.”

 

 

After the magical run of BBC's “Blue Planet II,” the latest episode brings the curtain down on the series with a stunning exploration of the impact we are having on our oceans.

The episode, "Coasts," captures the Pacific leaping blenny — a fish that detests the sea so much, it chooses to live in miniature cave 3 feet above the tide-line in Guam, Micronesia.

The two- to three-inch (four- to eight-centimeter) blenny does everything on land, from finding its steady diet of algae and detritus to mating and nesting. Its love of dry land is perhaps best reflected in how it escapes from threats like predators or researchers trying to trap it.

The Pacific leaping blenny, which needs to frequently roll around in coastal waters, flinging themselves on rocks near water and wiggling around to stay wet, has been filmed for the first time by BBC’s “Blue Planet II.”

There are many species of blenny, all of which are very small and most of which live in tidal pools and along rocky coasts in tropical regions. 

Many species of blenny are amphibious with the ability to live out of water for a few hours at time and scavenge algae growing on the rocks. But this particular species has decided that living on land is much preferable.

While introducing the fish, marine expert and narrator Sir David Attenborough said, “One marine creature has virtually abandoned the sea altogether. On a few remote Pacific islands lives the most terrestrial fish on the planet.”

He added, “These Pacific leaping blenny seem afraid of the waves. They are poor swimmers and would be easy prey in the sea.”

The episode also caught sea lions working together to hunt tuna into a labyrinth of small bays in the Galapagos Islands, footage that proves for the first time that the creatures are able to cooperate and plan.

Series producer Mark Brownlow said, “In the last of our habitat-based episodes we visit our coasts. They may be our window to the oceans, where we go for rest and relaxation, but the creatures that live here have to go through incredible hardships to survive in this divide between land and sea.”

Brownlow added, “From sea lions that drive massive tuna onto dry land to heroic puffins struggling to feed their young, this episode is going to be extraordinary because we’ve got so many new, incredible stories.”

“Blue Planet II"’s latest episode “Coasts” will air on BBC One at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Christophe Bailhache

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