Smart Tag team track animals' Great Migrations for National Geographic Channel

Professor Rory Wilson, Department of Biosciences, was the lead consulting scientist for National Geographic's groundbreaking new series, Great Migrations, which is currently being aired

Professor Rory Wilson, Department of Biosciences, was the lead consulting scientist for National Geographic's groundbreaking new series, Great Migrations, which is currently being aired.  


This work is the most ambitious in the whole of National Geographic's 122 year history involving filming the migrations of species located on all continents.  The series was premiered at the beginning of November in 130 countries simultaneously and has received widespread critical acclaim.  There are four core hours documenting the migrations of animals as diverse as butterflies and Sperm whales and three additional hours featuring behind the scenes filming, the science of migrations (in which Professor Wilson features prominently) and images of the moving animals to music. Professor Wilson was involved in multiple pre-screening events including in Los Angeles, New York, Washington and Kenya.

Professor Wilson leads Swansea's Smart Tag research team.  Their research has revealed some surprising secrets about the way animals including elephant seals, penguins, cormorants, whales, and sharks live. The team found, for example, that whale sharks, the largest fish on the planet, save energy during swimming by diving and rising in the water column in a series of waves in much the same way as the many tiny song birds that grace our gardens. They also documented how penguins use their natural buoyancy to shoot up from the depths to allow them to catch fast, elusive fish with little or no effort and the extraordinary graceful underwater ballet of the world’s deepest diving pinnipeds, elephant seals, otherwise best known for their bloody fights interspaced with lethargy on their breeding beaches.  


image: copyright Rolex

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