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Wildest Indochina

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Wildest Indochina

(Netflix Streaming) Wildest Indochina – Season 1 Episode 2: Thailand, the Wild Heart (Nature’s Survivors)

Animal Planet’s Wild World Wednesday series introduces us to the type of quality programming we would expect from this type of channel and is a resource that teachers from all grade levels can use for their class in Life or Earth Science. The episode I saw was on Thailand and encompassed the North, Isthmus of Kra, Ayuttaya, Mangroves, and coastal areas.

The North – The episode begins at the end of the Himalaya mountain range: Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai (ironically the highest spot in Thailand). We are treated to views of Tigers, dead leaf mantis, and strangler fig trees (which are exactly what the name says as they eventually strangle their host tree) Gibbons, and King Cobras abound. As a teacher in elementary school, I would fast forward the mating scene with the alpha male and female.

Isthmus of Kra – The narrowest point in Thailand (40km), but with some of the highest peaks, this area has some of the oldest rainforest on Earth. We look at bats, whip spiders (which have 6 legs, and two sweeper ones), clouded leopards with their 6X better night vision than humans, and elephants (the national symbol), whose role in the forest is beneficial to the regrowth and strengthening of the jungle is becoming better understood. The eat up and peel bark, which make the trees grow stronger, and clear away areas of trees to allow for ground dwelling plants to grow in this sunlight competitive environment.

Ayuttaya – We some of the ancient capital of Thailand with inscriptions, carvings, and murals of the ancients using elephants as beasts of burden and war machines. We also see fruit bats. As a teacher I can share my experiences of riding elephants, and make comparisons with students about animals that we use like oxen, horse, mules, etc. In middle school (or 5th grade) when discussing America in the 1860’s we can bring up the story of Thailand’s King Rama IV (the Anna and the King of Siam fame) who offered elephants to the U.S.

Mangroves – Mud crabs, and brahminy kite who live alongside humans fishing in the mangroves.

The Coast – islands peppering the coastline is full of tourists, natives, and animal species, including the world’s largest fish: the whale shark. We end the episode with the long tail macaque who have learned to adapt to eating the mollusks in the area with the use of hand held tools. Sharp rocks for oysters, heavier, blunt ones for clams and mussels. Amazing, and a treat for students to see how tools are used by not just people.

Other episodes in this series include: Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Southwest China.
edited by dcolato on 8/5/2015
edited by dcolato on 8/5/2015