Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Polar Bear Versus Walrus Colony

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This video documents an awesome fight for survival as a grown male polar bear takes on a walrus colony at the edge of the Arctic circle. This was a truly epic battle, phenomenally captured in high quality, from the BBC natural history masterpiece, Planet Earth.

What surprised you most about this footage? I was surprised that the walruses did not work together to defeat/get rid of the polar bear.


  1. #1 RubberBaron
    December 26, 2009

    Yep, treasure this sort of thing, ‘cos if certain politicians get into power in the UK, they want to sell off the BBC as a commercial concern.

    Few media organisations have the time or money to set up shoots that we’ve enjoyed in the latest Life series, for example. Some of these (in extreme conditions) took two years to complete.

  2. #2 SimonG
    December 27, 2009

    I guess that normally walruses don’t suffer a lot of predation, so they’ve never had a reason to evolve defensive behaviours.

    Of course, it didn’t look like they were at serious risk. If even a Polar Bear can’t get through their hide it must be pretty tough stuff!

    What really surprised me was just how big the walruses are; polar bears are fairly enormous but that one was almost dwarfed by some of those walruses.

  3. #3 david
    December 28, 2009

    I was surprised to see the footage at all, cannot imagine where the camera was, and then that the bear did not use more stealth.

  4. #4 ringtailroxy
    December 29, 2009

    what surprises me is how the American version of this masterpiece series was bastardized by replacing Sir David Attenborough’s narration with Sigourney Weaver’s.

    * sacrilege!*

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