The Weddell seal inhabits the ice shelves around Antarctica, living and breeding further south on the planet than any other mammal. The known record for holding its breath is ninety-six minutes – an incredible feat which allows it time to find or make breathing holes in the ice, and to stay down long enough to capture its preferred prey, which often live very deep.
Los Angeles-based Connie Samaras made this video in Antarctica in 2005 while on a special study grant for artists and writers.
The images shown here are stills taken from the video.
Tuatara means ‘spiny back’ in Māori. This unusual creature is found only in Aotearoa New Zealand. There are two species of tuatara, the last surviving members of an order of reptiles that existed alongside the dinosaurs 220 million years ago. That isn’t the only unique thing about the tuatara: they have a light-sensitive ‘third eye’ beneath the scales on the top of their head; its purpose is still not completely understood by scientists.