Monday, March 9, 2015

Giveaway - David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies

It is estimated that there are between 8-10,000 planes in the air at any one time. But did you know that around one hundred MILLION (cue Doctor Evil) non-human creatures will fly through the air today? (And they don’t even have to check in their baggage!).

This month SAT is giving away two copies of Sir David Attenborough’s newest project, Conquest of the Skies. This three-part series (and bonus “Making Of” episode) uses incredible technology (drones, octocopers, CGI) to show exactly how it is that flying animals appeared and how they do it (there’s loads of different ways to get off the ground – some a bit easier than others).

It’s an impressive feat, covering every flying critter from insects to prehistoric birds.

Some interesting snippets I learned:
  1. Painted Lady butterflies, apart from having an awesome name, probably make the longest migration of any insect on the planet – a round trip of about 15,000kms, doing this in around 6 generations.
  2. The adult moon moth doesn’t have a mouth. Its sole purpose is to mate. Conversation clearly isn’t its strong point.
  3. A blowfly’s wing beat is 50x shorter than the blink of a human eye.
  4. The largest animal to ever fly is believed to be the Quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur with a 10 metre wingspan.
  5. Twelve-week old swans can fly 800km to wintering sites in Scotland.
  6. The fastest animal in the world may be a bird – the Peregrine falcon, clocked at up to 200 miles per hour.

The DVD is available at ABCShops. Or you can win a copy by emailing us your name, snail mail address and – since we’re about improving the lot of non-human animals – making a suggestion about how we can improve our urban environments for flying critters. The two best suggestions will win. If words aren't your thing, photo entries are fine but they must be YOUR ORIGINAL PHOTOS. Please send entries by March 31st.