Reader “pyers” called my attention to a Torygraph article about an upcoming BBC documentary, “Wonders of the monsoon,” that is a must-watch. But the Torygraph piece has a title more suited to the Daily Mirror, to wit (click on the headline to go to the article):
Indeed, that’s just what happens, and for those of you who like nature red in tooth and claw, by all means read the piece and then watch the movie at the bottom of the article. You can also go directly to the BBC clip (which also plays in the US) by clicking the screenshot of the carnage just below:
From the Torygraph:
It resembles a monster from a b-list horror film but deep in the forests of Borneo this giant leech really exists and is a deadly predator.
The creature is so new to science that it does not yet have a taxonomic name. It is known to the tribes of Mount Kinabalu as the ‘Giant Red Leech.’
It was filmed for the first time by BBC filmmakers for the new series ‘Wonders of the Monsoon.’
The Giant Red Leech is one of the biggest in the world. The specimen captured on camera was around 30cm long but experts believe they could grow larger.
They have grown so big that they no longer simply suck blood but now actively hunt giant blue worms and suck them down like spaghetti. The worm it is eating is a whopping 78cm.
That’s about 31 inches to you non-metrics—more than twice the length of the leech. How does the leech find room?
Finding the species on Mount Kinabalu, the biggest mountain in Borneo, was a huge challenge and the team worked with ecologist Alim Bium to locate the leech.
“If you want to film a predator the best thing to do is to find its prey” said Williams, but it took the team several weeks of searching before an extremely heavy rainstorm eventually brought worms out in huge numbers. The red leeches were not far behind.
“By working with Alim we were able to sufficiently light the area of forest to record the predation as it unfolded” said Paul.
“It was exciting and fascinating, as he was making his new scientific discovery, we were documenting the behaviour for the very first time”
That last quote is the kind of thing that gives biologists a bad reputation!
There’s a lot more in the article about the show, including filming a colony of 300,000 flying foxes. Be sure to watch it if you’re in the UK! Info:
Wonders of the Monsoon will air on BBC 2 at 8pm on Sunday October 5th