Presented by Animalogic’s Danielle Dufault, the one-hour documentary examines how wild animals survive in unforgiving Canadian climates and across the globe
Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic is the first-ever original documentary commissioned by Blue Ant for BBC Earth in Canada
(Toronto, ON – July 20, 2022) – BBC Earth’s first-ever original documentary commissioned by Blue Ant for service in Canada, Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic, follows extraordinary mammals and birds as they prepare for the lean winter months. Presented by Animalogic’s Danielle Dufault, wildlife expert and award-winning scientific illustrator, the one-hour documentary travels across Canada and around the globe to explore the evolutionary adaptations that have helped five incredible species thrive in some of the coldest corners of the world. From Arctic foxes to rock and willow ptarmigan birds, Japanese macaque monkeys to wolverines and Siberian musk deer, the documentary provides a greater understanding of the precarious living conditions of these animals, as well as a broader picture of their ecosystems, including the other plants and animals that support their existence. Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic premieres Monday, August 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BBC Earth in Canada. The documentary is also available on BBC Earth via Prime Video, beginning August 1, 2022.
Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic was inspired by the hit YouTube channel Animalogic of the same name. Also presented by Danielle Dufault, the Animalogic YouTube channel follows the wacky and wonderful world of the animal kingdom and is considered a leading source for natural history information, boasting over 1.7 million subscribers and over 300 million video views.
“Mammals and birds are incredible opportunists. In order to fill available ecological niches in extremely cold conditions, a handful of resilient species have evolved to thrive in the inhospitable North. As shown in the documentary, climate change now threatens the delicate balance resulting from thousands, if not millions of years of evolution,” says Danielle Dufault, Presenter. “Strange Creatures of the Arctic is a natural extension of the Animalogic brand, and I hope it inspires Canadian audiences and encourages them to help protect these fragile arctic and subarctic ecosystems.”
The majority of Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic was filmed in Canada and sees Danielle visit Churchill, Manitoba to observe Arctic foxes and rock and willow ptarmigan birds keeping warm in -25C. Cameras also visit Kluane National Park, Yukon to watch wolverines survive and thrive in the snow. Internationally, the documentary travels to Nagano Prefecture, Japan to capture macaque monkeys in -15C; and Siberia to examine the Siberian musk deer and how they’ve adapted to survive in -38.3C. Throughout the one-hour special, the cameras capture how the climate crisis has a disproportionate impact on polar regions, and drives home a harsh awareness that we might lose these evolutionary creatures within our lifetimes if there is not a worldwide change in attitudes towards protecting their environments.
Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic is produced by Blue Ant Media Digital. The presenter and narrator is Danielle Dufault. Dylan Dubeau is the Director, Executive Producer and the Director of Photography. Sue Haas also serves as Executive Producer and Production Supervisor. Andres Salazar is the Script Writer and Sound Recordist. Jim Pitts and Cat Senior are the Editors. The documentary special is overseen by Sam Linton, VP, Head of Original Content, Canadian Media, Blue Ant Media. Distributed by Blue Ant International.
For more information on Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic, visit bbcearth.ca
BBC Earth seeks to inspire you by sharing the incredible wonders of our universe. It will take you on a thrilling journey of discovery, from the smallest creature under the microscope to the limitless expanses of space. BBC Earth will bring you face to face with heart-pounding action, mind-blowing ideas and the wonder of being human. In Canada, BBC Earth is owned and operated by Blue Ant Media in partnership with BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC. bbcearth.ca
Notes to editor:
Fun facts on the five species featured in Animalogic Presents: Strange Creatures of the Arctic:
- Arctic Fox:
- Known for his ability to change the colour of its coat according to the season. In the winter they have white coats that help them camouflage in the snow. In the summer, they’re brown to blend in with the dirt and forests.
- They are monogamous and produce dozens of babies (as many as 22 in one litter!)
- They are only slightly larger than a chihuahua
- Considered the best insulated mammal in the world (they don’t even shiver until is -70C)
- Climate Change Effects on Arctic Foxes:
- Arctic foxes can survive harsh winters by following polar bears to eat their scraps, but with the polar bear population declining, there are less scraps to forage
- As a result of the subarctic temperatures rising, red foxes are moving into Arctic fox territory. Red foxes are bigger and stronger than Arctic foxes, allowing them to outcompete them for food and forcing them to starve
- Rock and Willow Ptarmigan:
- Have feathered feet that help them to walk in snow
- Ptarmigans start life as omnivores, and go full vegetarian in adulthood
- Have three seasonal plumages per year that keep them well-camouflaged at all times, instead of the two that are usual for most birds
- Adapted to survive on extremely calorie deficient food in the winter months
- Climate Change Effects on Ptarmigans:
- Ptarmigan feathers turn bright white for the winter. If the weather is too warm and snow doesn’t cover the ground by the time they turn white, they become extremely easy prey to target
- Siberian Musk Deer:
- Instead of horns or antlers it sports long sharp fangs, which have earned them the nickname “vampire deer”
- They use their fangs to fight during mating season, but luckily, they don’t have a thirst for blood as they prefer the reliable lichen as a source of nutrition
- Siberian musk deer don’t make much noise, but they communicate all they need to say through the smells of their bodily excretions (musk, urine, faeces)
Climate Change effects:
- Their population is declining due to deforestation and habitat degradation
- Native to Canada
- Can produce oils to keep themselves warm, making their fur hydrophobic so it doesn’t get wet while walking in the snow
- Wolverines have a powerful musk gland they use to communicate and to mark their meals/kills
- Japanese Macaque:
- Outside of humans, they are the northernmost-living primates on Earth
- Have the thickest fur coat of all mammals
- Developed a culture of seeking out hot springs to keep themselves warm (this behaviour was first observed in 1963 and it offers insights into learned survival behaviours). The monkeys have taught new generations to use the hot springs.
- Japanese macaque females get to call the shots on who they mate with