Reptiles are a class of vertebrates made up mostly of snakes, turtles, lizards, and crocodilians. These animals are most easily recognized by their dry, scaly skin. Almost all reptiles are cold-blooded, and most lay eggs—though some, like the boa constrictor, give birth to live young. Instead of possessing gills like fish or amphibians, reptiles have lungs for breathing.
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. It is one of the larger rorqual species, with adults ranging in length from 12–16 m and weighing around 25–30 t. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head.
After receiving twelve hours of solar energy every day, the Serengeti grasslands become a tinderbox, just waiting to be lit.
The vast majority of the African fires currently burning seem to be in grasslands, in exactly the places we expect to see fires at this time of year. These fires are usually lit by cattle farmers as part of their traditional management of the savannahs where their animals graze. Some fires are started to stimulate new growth of nutritious grass for their animals, others are used to control the numbers of parasitic ticks or manage the growth of thorny scrub.
“Sunday Morning” takes us to the beach at San Simeon, Calif., a home for elephant seals. Videographer: Lance Milbrand.
The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the southern elephant seal). It is a member of the familyPhocidae (true seals). Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male’s large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating competition. Sexual dimorphism in size is great. Correspondingly, the mating system is highly polygynous; a successful male is able to impregnate up to 50 females in one season.
San Simeon is a town and census-designated place on the Pacific coast of San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. Its position along State Route 1 is about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, each of those cities being roughly 230 miles away.
“Sunday Morning” takes us among bald eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. Videographer: Hank Heusinkveld.
The bald eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known subspecies and forms a species pair with the white-tailed eagle. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico.
Lake Coeur d’Alene, officially Coeur d’Alene Lake, is a natural dam-controlled lake in North Idaho, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. At its northern end is the city of Coeur d’Alene. It spans 25 miles in length and ranges from 1 to 3 miles wide with over 109 miles of shoreline.