Wild Caribbean – Rhythms of Life – 4K
ORF-E | 2017
52 min. x 3
Golden beaches, waving palms and rum – the perfect Caribbean paradise? But these islands in the Gulf of Mexico can’t be summed up in a few words. Just consider how they were born: Trinidad drifted from the Venezuelan mainland, Barbados rose on a crust of live corals, St. Lucia was born in the explosion of volcanoes. Cuba and Hispaniola’s salt lakes, pine forests and 3,000-metre snowy peaks are just as ‘Caribbean’ as the mangrove swamps and reefs, or the whales and mantatees that live in the azure waters. Here caves are home to hundreds of thousands of bats that echolocate nectar in flowers whose shape has evolved perfectly to reflect their sonar – at least, that’s if the bats are not picked off in pitch darkness by heat-seeking snakes. Some birds and even mammals echolocate here, too. Crocodiles run on two legs picking off birds from the trees, four-eyed fish fly from predators; other fish beat up one of their own, so it gets eaten, and they can escape. Spiders throw their webs like nets. The Tyra, a carnivore, is the nearest thing to a Caribbean big cat; but its 30cm tongue betrays its taste for the sweet nectar only it can reach. Strangest of all is the Solenodon, a mammal built for survival with poisonous fangs, teats on its rear and a ball-and-socket joint in its nose to help it dig for succulent roots. Life is lived fast and in a delicate balance. Humans may need to redress that balance, for instance by teaching deadly sharks to hunt the introduced lionfish, currently threatening to take over Caribbean waters. Cutting edge technology reveals the wonders of a region that is beautiful, bizarre and full of energy – the real Caribbean!