tv March of the Penguins CNN January 2, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm PST
exceed 50 miles an hour. this is a storm that will last awhile and not just the snow that will be a problem, again, the high winds and bitter, bitter cold. stay tuned in for the latest. that does it for this edition of 360. up next, cnn films presents "march of ping wenguins." "march of ping wenguins." have a good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com ♪ ♪
the average temperature here at the bottom of the earth is a balmy 58 degrees below. that's when the sun is out. it wasn't always like this. antarctica used to be a tropical place but then the continent started to drift south, and by the time it was done drifting, the dense forest was replaced with a new ground cover, ice. as far the inhas been tablets, they all died and moved on long ago, well, almost all of them. ♪ ♪ >> legend has it that one tribe stayed behind. ♪ ♪ >> perhaps they thought the change in weather was only temporary, or maybe they were
just stubborn, but whatever their reasons, these souls refused to leave. for millions of years, they have made their home on the darkest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on earth, and they have done so pretty much alone. so in someways, this is a story of survival, a tale of life over death, but it's more than that really. this is a story about love. ♪ ♪ like most love story, it begins with an act of up of foolishness. the emp poorer ping win is a bird, although one that makes his home in the sea. so if you're wondering what he's doing up here on the ice, well, that's part of our story.
each year, at around the same time, he will leave the comfort of his ocean home and embark on a remarkable journey. he will travel a great distance, and though he is a bird, he won't fly. though, he lives in the sea, he won't swim. mostly, he will walk, but he won't walk alone. ♪ ♪ it is march, summer is over, and another long polar winter is about to begin. the birds have been feeding in the ocean waters for three months. now, their belly is full. it is time to find a mate. ♪ ♪ >> their breeding ground can be up to 70 miles away.
to get there, they will walk day and night continuously. sometimes for a week. it is a long, dangerous and seemingly impossible journey, and some of them will not survive it. nonetheless, when the last of the clan is finally clambered onto the ice, their long march will begin, just as it has for thousands of years. ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ their destination is always the same. their path, however, is not. the ice on which the birds travel never stops shifting and changing. new road blocks will appear to baffle them every year. we're not exactly sure how they find their way. perhaps they were assisted by the sun or the stars, or maybe having taken this march for thousands of generations, they are guided by some invisible compass within them. they never stay stumped for long. eventually, one of them will pick up the trail and the journey continues. ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ >> there is usually a graceful parade, but not always. ♪ ♪ >> each day the temperature drops a little further, and the sun will set earlier. the weather becomes noticeably hasher, almost by the hour. by now, similar caravans are approaching from every direction and finally, often on the same day, even around same time,
>> here, they will mate in relative safety. they are now far from the water's edge where most predators lurk and the large ice walls will offer some protection from the harshest winds but the real reason they have chosen this place lies beneath their feet. the ice is thicker here. it will stay solid until summer keeping their young from accidently falling through into the freezing ocean. and so, having arrived, they begin to pursue their journey's purpose, finding a mate. we don't really know what they are looking for in a partner. we only know that they are, in fact, looking. we also know when they have found what they are looking for.
em poorer are ma nothing mouse, they mate with one partner per year, which means every new season, all bets are off. because there are fewer males than females here, hostilities among the ladies are inevitable. a taken male instantly becomes unavailable male so occasionally a female will attempt to interrupt a courtship. the men don't seem to mind. they just wait for the fight to end, and take the opportunity to prime. they are not that different from us, really.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ for the next eight months, these two will participate in an ancient and complicated affair. there will be tenderness, there will be separation, there will be reunion, and if their partnership is successful, there will be new life. for now, they wait. for the egg and for the brutal winter, which will do everything in its power to destroy that
egg. ♪ ♪ >> by may, the light will nearly have disappeared from the sky, and the temperature continues to drop. and for those who begin their march too late or have fallen behind because of weakness or hunger, hope of survival is now remote. the loan penguin has no chance against the winter's cold. he will simply fade away,
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in many parts out region. driving is being complicated by icy conditions and poor visibility. flying over is not even an option in many cases. more than 2100 flights have been cancelled. these are unhappy travelers in cleveland but the hardest hit is chicago's o'hare with more than 650 cancellations. besides travel hazards, the storm also brings dangerously cold air. it was a bone chilling 40 below. it is affecting people across 22 states. boston is just one of major cities feeling the storm east wrath. that's where fred joins us with the latest. as you can see, the snow is coming down. >> reporter: yeah, the snow is coming down, natalee, and the snow is coming down in gusts. we have heavy winds and snow coming down. you can see the snow flakes that are fine. if you look at the snow on the ground, as you can see it's pretty fine and dusty.
what happens is it leads to these snow drifts. as you can see the road behind me is full of snow and that's because it keeps drifting on to this road, even though snowplows keep coming through. the state of massachusetts has more than 3,000 plows in the state. the city of boston alone has some 500 snowplows on the roads trying to keep them free of snow. that's proving to be difficult. the mayor of boston told people to stay off the roads with their cars and let the road crews do their work overnight. clearly, that's not going to be enough because the weather is so bad. in cape cod the weather is similar to here and there is more snow falling and more wind and the difference between there and here, here it comes in phases. here there are phases where the wind dies down and picks up again. there there is snow and wind and there are areas urged to evacuate, lower lying areas
because there could be flooding, natalee? >> absolutely. boston, the cape and new york city getting it. thank you. we will continue to bring you updates on the storm. for now, we'll send you back to "march of the penguins." as winter descents, the tripe's only defense against the freezing cold is the group itself. it's almost as if they create another organism all together. the huddled animals form a single moving mass, one designed for the soul purpose of sustaining warmth. winter's first storm is upon them.
♪ ♪ >> within a few weeks, days begin to pass with virtually no light at all. moons come and go, and the soon to be endless night, and finally, one day in early june, we remember why they came here. ♪ ♪ >> as soon as the egg appears, it is instantly hidden from the cold. the tiny beating heart within
with no reason to stay, they will wonder back to the sea. other couples have lost their egg, as well. as for the others, the partnership is about to change. with unending patience, the pair rehearses the steps they will need to transfer the egg from the mother to the father. they practice this clumsy ballet dozens of times, if need be. and then with great care, they will dance it. ♪ ♪
>> and now begins one of nature's most incredible and endearing role reversals. it is the penguin male that will tend the couple's single egg while the mother feeds and gathers food to bring back for the newborn. it is the father who will shield the egg from the violent winds and cold. he will make a nest for the egg atop his own claws, keeping it safe and warm beneath a flap of skin on his belly. and he will do this for more than two months.
♪ ♪ >> having passed the egg, the exhausted female must depart quickly. she must eat soon, or she will die. as the winter progresses, the father will be severely tested. the mother will be tested, as well. her return trip to the sea is considerably more difficult than the original march to the nesting ground. it is colder now, and she will have lost almost a third of her body weight producing the egg.
she is literally starving. of course, the fathers are nearly starving, too, but for them, a meal is far off in the distance. by the time their vigil atop the egg is over, the penguins fathers will have gone without food of any kind for 125 days and they will have endured one of the most violent and deadly winters on earth, all for the chic. ♪ ♪
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as the fathers settle into their long wait at the breeding ground, the winter's second storm arrives. the temperature is now 80 degrees below zero, that's without taking into account the wind, which can blow 100 miles an hour. though they can be aggressive during the rest of the year, at this time, the males are totally dos l, a united and cooperative
approaching the sea floor itself to feed on fish, kril and squid. ♪ ♪ >> they will also skim along the ice just below the ocean's surface searching for any fish that may have lodged there. while the mothers finally fill their empty bellies, the fathers cling to life on the surface trying to keep the eggs safe and warm. the wind will occasionally bring
♪ with the snap of its jaws, the leopard seal actually takes two lives. that of the trapped mother and that of her unborn chick who will never be fed. by july, the females know it is time to return to their nest. and so for the third time thissee, the mothers take the long walk. only this time, they walk in the dark. i needed a new laptop for my pre-med classes,
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♪ >> each day, more eggs will hatch. but this chick is hungry. he needs the food in his mother's belly. but his father is hungry, too. he hasn't eaten in nearly four months now. if his mate doesn't arrive soon, he will be forced to abandon his child and return to the sea to feed himself. he will have no choice.
but there is one secret weapon against his newborn's hunger. the father costs up a milky substance. despite his own hunger, this tiny meal has been relegated to a small crease in his throat just for this moment. this little banquet will keep the chick alive for a day, perhaps two. hopefully long enough for the mother to arrive. for some, it is already too late.
fierce cold. the father and his check sing to one another, making sure each knows the other's voice. it is the only way the two will find each other when the father returns. as the chick enjoys his first real meal, the father prepare es to sever the bond between them. it's not easy to do. the fathers have gone without food for over four months. they will have lost as much as
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i'm at the cnn weather center with the powerful storm battling the northeast right now. travel is not advised in many parts of the region. driving is being complicated by icy conditions and poor visibility. flying over is not an option in many cases, either. more than 2200 flights have been canceled. these are travelers going nowhere in cleveland, ohio. but the hard evideest-hit airpo chicago's o'hare. besides travel danger, the storm brings very cold air. it was a bone-chilling 40 below
in far northern minnesota. all told, the storm is affecting nearly 100 million people across 22 states. some parts of northern massachusetts have already seen a foot and a half of snow. our fred pleitgen joins us live in boston where it is snowing sideways. fred. >> reporter: yes, it certainly is snowing a lot. and the temperatures are also bone-chilling cold here. as you said and you're absolutely right. in boston right now. also as you can see a lot of snowfall at the moment. it isn't as much as other places in massachusetts. i have the old ruler with me here. we'll just stick it in the snow and see. we are at about 7 1/2 inches of snow. right now here in boston. it varies from place to place because there is a lot of drifting going on. if we go out i can show you on the streets and you can see with the wind a lot of those snowdrifts here going across the street. that's going to be a major problem for the snowplows that are going around the city of boston alone has about 500 snowplows that are going around the streets right now.
the state of massachusetts more than 3,000. as you said, some places in the state of massachusetts are expecting more than two feet of snow. there are some places that already have up to 18 inches of snow. some of the coastal areas some flooding so the northeast is really getting pummelled by this weather by very high winds and all the snow coming down. it's going to be very, very difficult for a lot of people when they wake up tomorrow morning, natalie. >> we can understand. we can certainly appreciate it from your live shot there what they're going through. fred pleitgen live for us in boston. thanks. we will continue to bring you updates on the storm. for now we'll send you back to "march of the penguins." [ male announcer ] this is betsy.
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the chicks will gather at once to meet them and sound their calls. the returning fathers will circle the excited newborns and listen. until he hears his chick call. some will never find their change. the newborn will have died from cold or hunger or at the hands of some predator. but for those that do find their young, the reunion is a joyful
the parents to go back and forth more frequently. the chicks' new coat of feathers is now thick and full, enough to protect them on their own. and by november, the ocean is within a few hundred yards of the breeding ground. there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order. good news. i got a new title. and a raise? management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
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and as their newest members look on, the tribe returns to their home at last. for the next three months, they will lavish in the rich and warmish waters of their short summer. they will feed and they will play, and in all likelihood, their chicks will never see them again. they will remain here, alone, and unsupervised for a few more weeks, growing strong er. the ice continues to melt,
climb out of the water, and they will march just as they have done for centuries. ever since the emperor penguin decided to stay, to live and love in the harshest place on earth. [ male announcer ] this is george. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy.