Skagerrak – Europe’s Unique Marine Animal Habitat | Free Documentary Nature

Skagerrak - Europe's Unique Marine Animal Habitat | Free Documentary Nature

#Skagerrak #Europes #Unique #Marine #Animal #Habitat #Free #Documentary #Nature

The rough north sea between denmark norway and sweden the skagerak is an ocean strait that boasts many different faces its deeply fissured shoreline is both a haven of peace and a place of conflict it’s a wild interface between the sea and the land the rivers flowing into the skygarack are the

Scenes of tremendous fish migrations while the quieter areas close to the shores are the refuge of innumerable forms of wildlife In this gagarak there is just so much to discover this is the sea of hard working crabs walking fish and creative crustaceans the skaggarak separates the southern end of the scandinavian peninsula from denmark graenen a promontory at the most north easterly tip of denmark marks the transition from the skagarak to the catagat

Which lies to the south and east the sea of the grain and headland has some of the most powerful currents in europe this is where the waters of the north sea force their way into the category the wind and water combine incessantly to shape the shallows that stretch out far into the sea The constantly shifting sand masses caused the grain and headland to change its appearance almost daily occasionally the waves even relinquish some baltic gold and deposit it on the extensive beaches amber over 30 million years old despite very difficult conditions this unpredictable stretch of ocean houses a rich variety of wildlife

A spiny starfish looking for lunch However the hope for scallop turns out to be surprisingly mobile But the starfish does not give up it’s tremendously powerful it will hold on to the shell until the scallop needs to breathe then it will hold it open and suck out the scallop this polychaete is fairly safe from the spiny starfish as long as it withdraws deep inside its Tube The tiny edible crab also uses the sand as a hideout pipefish wait for little tit bits to float past while flat fish search for worms and crabs that have buried themselves in the sand the bottlenose dolphins on the other hand don’t waste time with tidbits they are more interested in a place or

Similarly satisfying prey but this fellow is being careful Buried flat fish are virtually undetectable by the dolphin sona system because these fish do not have a swim bladder so their echo blends in with that of the seabed rising from the seemingly endless sandy desert southwards near the his holman islands there are some fascinating reefs these craggy crevassed outcrops are methane reefs

From which small and large methane gas bubbles are emitted the methane a key component of natural gas comes from the seabed whether or not bacteria that can process methane are involved in building up the reef is as yet uncertain in the transition region between the skagarak and the catagat

There is an enormous buildup of plankton particularly in the summer the currents flowing along the danish coast from the north sea and back along the swedish coast churn up large quantities of nutrient-rich water from the depths which promotes the growth of small organisms this is el dorado for such filter

Feeders as the basking shark as much as 1800 tons of water pass through its gills every hour the grain and headland is the most north easterly tip of north jatlandic island the second largest island in denmark to the south it’s separated from jutland by the limfjord which links the north sea to the

Category To the west close to the north sea the lymph yawn spreads out to form broad shallows One of the wetlands in the region has been selected by spoon builders as a nesting place at the edge of this shallow inland lake the first chicks have already hatched the parents have jointly built this ground nest and take turns to incubate in most of these families there will be

Three or four chicks to care for young spoonbill chicks are expected to ask politely before they’re fed immortal by their parents the adults sift food from the shallow marshy waters using their spoon-shaped beaks which are equipped with fine sieve like teeth they can bring all kinds of water-based animals such as fish

Snails and small crustaceans even newts insects frogs and tadpoles back to the nest a complex range of small lakes and marshes in the lymph york area provide ideal breeding grounds for many different bird species the sandwich turns are already well into the reproductive process The males hardly differ from the females at first sight but there are moments when it’s very clear which is which The sandwich turns like the spoonbills form bird colonies and they like to get pretty close sometimes there are as many as 10 pairs brooding on a square meter the chicks will leave the shallow nest after only a few days but their parents continue to care for them

Soon they set off to explore the surroundings initially under supervision sandwich turns often nest in the immediate vicinity of black-headed gulls as here on lymphjord during the breeding period both parents sport their impressive nuptial dress highlighted by the chocolate brown hood with their wingspan of only about one meter

Black-headed girls are not exactly the giants of the seabird world But they make up for that when it comes to protecting their rights Back to normal In a quiet corner of the lymph your far away from the hub of sega activity arctic terns have returned from their winter quarters between south africa and the antarctic these long-distance birds nest in small colonies they will brood for up to 22 days and will then usually have

Three chicks to bring up whatever they do these birds do not do things by halves arctic turns make full use of their bodies many an ornithologist has made the acquaintance of these beaks male oyster catchers competing for a female’s attentions the one who bows the lowest is allowed to mate with her

In depressions in the ground devoid of any comfort they will usually incubate three or four eggs for as long as 27 days despite being highly social for most of the year pairs of oyster catchers will protect their territory determinately during brooding Any other bird approaching the ground nest or family is aggressively attacked The bird will not relax until the intruder has been forced to leave the danger zone the long beaks of the oyster catchers are equipped with sensory organs with which they detect worms and clams in the ground if there’s anything in the silt worth having the oyster catcher will find it

Further to the north east along the skagerak shoreline of north chatlandic island we find europe’s largest shifting sand dune the lighthouse on rubia knuder experienced the full extent of the dunes shifting power this 23 meter high building had to be abandoned in 1968 the dune had already devoured all the outhouses

And was building up in front of the lighthouse and in this dynamic environment a female plover has decided to nest sand lizards also live in this sea of sand as soon as these cold-blooded reptiles have soaked up enough sun they go hunting there are plenty of insects to be caught on the dune The color of sand lizards varies dramatically they’re at their most colorful now when they’re making plans for the next generation the female hides from 5 to 14 calcium encased eggs in loose sand the rest of the work is done by the heat of the sun over the coming seven to ten weeks

Not far from the dune is the village of lonstrom but the sea is eating away at the breathtaking coastal cliffs it’s calculated that within 15 years lonstrup will have fallen into the skaggarak Opposite the northern danish coast of jutland on the other side of the skaggarak is the swedish shoreline In many of the picturesque fishermen’s villages not all the inhabitants are human white stalks are extending last year’s nests now they have returned from their winter quarters in africa in the lush fields in the hinterland the parents find an ample supply of mice frogs and insects while some are already incubating others

Have only just found each other the males first appear at the nest and then just wait on their first reunion the partners clack their beaks grooming is a crucial routine after the long return journey who knows what one might have picked up from afar finally after more than 30 days of incubation

The first chicks appear in stark contrast to the danish coast the swedish coastline features innumerable smaller and larger bays the island of smurgan just off the coast and its fishing village of the same name provide a natural harbour Canada geese are not the only ones enjoying the karma waters of the island’s bays the colorful cottages are still in use by lobster fishermen there’s a plentiful supply of lobster around smurgan and even in the harbour [Applause] the conditions here between the nearby skerries are ideal for these top-notch crustaceans

Here lobsters find numerous places to hide out and rich hunting grounds with abundant supplies of polychaete worms mollusks and crabs Lobsters like to be alone in their shelter this means the best caves and crevasses are highly desirable residences lobster claws are dangerous weapons The swedish scary coast is a world of its own The tides play a vital role for all forms of life in these shallow waters comparable to that in the wooden sea the life forms that have withdrawn into small ponds as the tide receded will reawaken as the tide floods back in For some however like this lion’s mane jellyfish violent incoming tides can be a danger this animal with its long stinging tentacles has no chance to find its way back into the open sea The skerries with their cliffs polished smooth and flattened by ice age glaciers define the north eastern coastline of the skagarak like no other landscape feature the outer scaries to the north are so far offshore that they can only be reached by boat Harbour seals take advantage of their remote resting place to enjoy uninterrupted sleep the craggy outcrops are quiet retreats in the middle of hunting grounds rich in fish Adult seals will only eat fish they have located themselves in the cloudy waters using their highly sensitive whiskers The scary archipelagos offer extensive sandy beaches which the seals appreciate just as much as the rocky shore Seals will always rest close to the wash fringe as the tide goes out the seals will move their resting places down to follow it Being close to the water is critical for seals because if danger approaches from the land side the ocean is their only safe haven normally however there is no need to flee and they can enjoy their relaxed lifestyle on the beach Not far away in a different section of the scary coast gray seals are relaxing on their beach at a weight of up to 310 kilograms for fully grown males the females are smaller and noticeably lighter grey seals are around a third larger and nearly twice as heavy as harbor seals

The males continuously fight aggressively to secure their mating rights but most of their fights are designed to impress the fights of the grey seals seldom result in injuries such as we often see with elephant seals but nevertheless they are tough customers a storm is on its way and it started to snow

Except it’s not really snow the breakers cause foam to be blown onto the land protein whipped up by the wind and sea that indicates heavy growth of algae out at sea It’s the harbour seals that benefit from the high concentration of nutrients in the skaggarak as they are the apex predators fish on which the seals prey like this mackerel thrive in large numbers thanks to the abundance of plankton For the sea nettles too the skaggerx rich supply of minute organisms make it a paradise young whiting take advantage of this If they sense danger they take shelter among the 30 meter long stinging tentacles of the lion’s mane jellyfish a protective film makes them immune to the jellyfish’s poison they will even eat the jellyfish’s eggs that they steal from its genitals as we travel further north the eastern coast of the skagarak

Changes from the swedish to the norwegian part brimstadt a town in the south west of norway lies on the north coast of the skhagarak the 950 million-year-old reddish-brown granite in this area achieved notoriety when hitler used blocks of it for his utopian monumental construction projects extensive algae forests grow around the scary archipelagos

And these are no less impressive than the californian kelp forests here the lump sucker is at home A flat worm is looking for a mate flatworms are hermaphroditic the male and female reside within each animal these two will fertilize each other this thicket of large brown algae provides shelter for many different types of fauna reason enough for the bottlenose dolphins to have a look if there’s anything worth catching

On the floor of this algae forest the hermit crabs are on the move how to move house at top speed the relocation from the shell that had grown too small was worth it this crab now has a luxury suite far larger and with a resident sea anemone someone is taking action here A seven armed starfish is driving a group of feather stars in front of it not to consume its relatives but because they had hijacked its next feast The innumerable remains of cracked shells on the seabed show what food the seven armed starfish prefers mussels and this one intends to keep them all to itself the uncrowned king of these waters is the wolf fish the name wolf fish is not totally unjustified as we see from its teeth And that’s only half the story behind the row of pointed incisors is a set of powerful molars for cracking open clams lobsters and sea urchins wolf fish are solitary animals if two are seen together that can only mean one thing courtship The female round bellied with eggs waltzes and rolls close to the mail Her shaking signals the imminent laying of her eggs this has never been filmed in this way before the female lies on her back while the male attempts to stimulate his partner by rubbing up against her It can’t be much longer now with his nearly two meter long body the male forms a protective shield around the female’s abdomen this enables him to guide the eggs as she lays them fertilize them and shape them into a ball He will guard the spawning ground for about two months until the larvae hatch the fry will then remain in the cave for another three months and feed off their reserves of yolk Further out large numbers of red sea stars are tucking into a feast of mussels And they’re making the most of it too yet another proof of the tremendous wealth of nourishment available in the strong skaggarak currents whole forests of sea squirts filter minute creatures from the moving waters and in the thick of it is a sea urchin these animals are in reproductive mode

A male releases sperm into the open water somewhere the corresponding eggs are floating around after a given period the larvae of the sea urchins will hatch their drift on the current always in search of something edible this comb tooth blenny is also hungry the narrows between the skerries have

Been the downfall of many a ship in the past but the animals in the skaggarak can make good use of any wreck an eel pout has moved in while next door an anglerfish casts its deadly rod betide the fish that falls for that lure In more exposed places feather duster worms huddle together to catch as much plankton as they can using their feathery headdresses these beadlet anemones are holding on firmly to their seats in the boxes with their disc like foot then they extend their tentacles as far as they can into the current

Nearly always it’s a matter of eating or not being eaten That’s also the current objective of this spider crab this remarkably creative crustacean applies camouflage to protect itself It may not be pretty but the contours of the spider crab are effectively broken up and that improves its chances of survival sea cucumbers that live off plankton are always to be found where the current promises to provide particularly generous meal times using their circular crown of fine tentacles

The sea cucumbers filter food from the water when they catch something they insert the entire tentacle in their mouths suck off the prey and then eject the highly elastic tentacle again if they need to move house they retract the entire crown of tentacles the swaying forests of algae are just

One of the natural highlights that the extensive scary gardens have to offer close to frederickstat is the estuary of a special river as it spills into the skaggarak the glomer one of the longest salmon rivers in norway The salmon are still waiting in the estuary their metabolism has to acclimatize to the change in environment from salt to fresh water after they have become accustomed to the brackish water they begin their journey upstream the current in the lower reaches is as yet not much of a challenge Close to the river a pair of osprey are planning their family Feeding the hungry chicks later will not be much of a problem on the glommer The river is rich in many different kinds of fish salmon however would be a bit too much for these birds The further the salmon progress upriver the tougher the river becomes to negotiate Soon they will have to master gushing rapids an exhausting activity particularly as the salmon tend to eat virtually nothing during their migration the barbels are waiting for the first victims of exhaustion The first high obstacle makes terrific demands on the strength of the migrating fish they may fail over and over again but in the end most of them manage it A quiet stretch at last stretches of the glommer widen and form lakes places to relax and refresh one’s energies Every kilometer it’s not only the river that changes its face the landscape surrounding it changes too the osprey’s chicks have arrived The father brings a good catch back to the nest the mother takes over the fish which has to be prepared first To ensure all the chicks get some the female breaks the generous catch into beak-sized pieces for the babies While the father is responsible for bringing home supper the welfare of the chicks is the mother’s responsibility that’s the way it is with ospreys After the last quiet zone the current picks up again Many of the salmon have reached the limit of their strength the barbels soon pick out the first victims Further upstream is another quiet section the riverbed here is wide and there are no rapids For the salmon this is a pleasant part of the journey a male shows its kite hawk to indicate readiness for spawning in the calm waters of some of the bays mosquitoes are metamorphosing from larvae in the water into annoying flying pests Normally these would be tasty tit bits for salmon but they have other worries at the moment there’s danger on the river banks here we find hunters that are a keystone in the life cycle of fish filled rivers otters These highly maneuverable otters may look sweet but as hunters they’re merciless This one is assiduously preening his fur and for a good reason it’s his life assurance policy while the otter is hunting in icy cold water it does not have a fatty layer to protect it there is only the fur to keep the water and the cold at bay

And prevent the otter cooling down rapidly the eurasian otters can remain underwater for up to eight minutes if they need to otters will eat crabs frogs small rodents and even birds if they can catch them but their favorite food is fish If the fish are ailing or injured that means less work for the otter they bring their prey to the surface they don’t eat underwater normally otters prefer smaller or medium-sized fish healthy fully grown salmon have nothing to fear from them as the salmon migration progresses the water passages become narrower and shallower

In many places underwater vegetation such as pondweed grows rampant which creates another barrier brown bears have arrived along the shores of the headwater of the glommer near the swedish border close to the spawning ground a mother great grey owl is covering her young with her wings

This fellow could indeed be a danger to the salmon but this time the white-tailed eagle has to be content with less the short warm summer has reached its peak the bears now have to feed to build up their reserves for the long cold season ahead Fortunately for the salmon the brown bears prefer wild berries and other vegetarian delicacies the grey owl chicks are at risk however they can’t hunt independently until they are 20 weeks old the bears tire easily in the heat gathering berries is also a wearing Activity but it’s also possible to enjoy a meal lying down The female bear does not have time for these pleasures she has to care for four youngsters there are only around 30 brown bears in norway this group probably comes over from sweden The last and most difficult obstacle for the salmon on the way to their spawning ground only those that can master these rapids will be able to mate and guarantee the next generation for the ones that fail here the journey has been a waste of effort they’ve made it summoning their last strength the

Females lay their eggs in shallow spawning depressions in the riverbed the males immediately inseminate them by releasing sperm into the water for nearly all these fish this is the last act in their lives starved and exhausted they will die where they themselves were once born autumn is knocking at the door the cold

Weather has already reached the northernmost points as they migrate towards the warmer south cranes stop for a rest on the skagger rack The wetlands in the hinterland are welcome resting places for many migrating birds up to 1.3 meters tall and with a wingspan of around two meters cranes are the most impressive short-term visitors here [Applause] Where so many birds flock together there are likely to be disagreements migration also makes the birds irritable with all this noise the geese prefer to stay aloof but the cranes like the noise and in the skaggarak itself life continues in full swing not least because of the deep trench of the norwegian shoreline

A deep sea current flows through here bringing enormous volumes of plankton into the straits in the waters around mandal at the northwest limit of the skaggarak numerous norway lobster or scampi live on the ocean floor they build their burrows in fine sticky mud they don’t appreciate visitors each

Lobster likes to keep the burrow it has dug with considerable effort to itself norway lobsters only leave their boroughs to search for food or to mate otherwise they are busy extending their homes the octopus too does not want to be noticed a hermit crab arouses local interest but what the lobsters don’t know

Is that that was just the beginning Suddenly hordes of small hermit crabs come in it’s a mass invasion the stripy dragonite remains cool despite being generously coloured it’s remarkably well camouflaged at least when partly covered by silt a rare black mouth cat shark is visiting the lobster habitat this one meter long predator specializes in catching crustaceans

As a bottom dweller it only swims when it really has to the long-legged spider crab specialized in cracking open clams is as much a part of the ocean fauna in the skagerak as the bulky edible crab and the feather stars waving in the current they’re all directly or indirectly reliant on plankton

The moon plays a crucial part in this on clear nights with a full moon at its brightest the concentration of minute organisms is at its greatest It’s high noon for the sea robin the prey virtually swims straight into its mouth many thousands of small shrimps are out hunting for myriads of minute plankton the spider crab also tries to grab at least some of the shrimps but that’s not easy the sea robin is far more successful

Even while swimming which is not normally this fish’s habit Suspended in the water the sea robin can’t make full use of its special capability sea robins have a total of six pectoral fins that they use for walking these pseudo legs are equipped with sensory and taste organs so the sea robin can detect worms snails and other prey concealed in the seabed

As it walks in contrast the swimming crab floats above all this through what must seem like the endless waters of the skaggarak iridescent neon like comb jellies and spectacular helmet jellyfish are some of the most beautiful creatures to be found in the skhakkarak beautiful they may be but these

Jellyfish have difficulty coping with the strong currents in the ocean strait their ability to maneuver in flowing water is very limited The skaggarak is up to 700 meters deep ghost sharks appear from these dark zones at night Ghost sharks or chimeras are cartilaginous fish that are closely related to sharks the cod is one of the most sought after edible fishes and therefore is totally over fished a young cod is also called a codling the trademark feature of these popular fishes is the barbel on their chin

Autumn storms herald the onset of winter it is now that the skagger act shows its wilder nature During these tough times predators show up that were not here earlier killer whales have now extended their winter hunting grounds from the north of norway down to the edge of the skaggarak These intelligent hunters have long discovered the rich fishing grounds in the ocean strait Despite the influence of the gulf stream the winter between norway and denmark can be very hard due to the many freshwater rivers pouring into the sea here the saline content is lower than that of the north sea so the waters between the skerries can freeze over quite quickly tough times for the seals

The rough north sea between denmark norway and sweden is a very special strait that earns its name The wild skaggarak You

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