Big Blue Live (04:06)
M. Sanjayan and Liz Bonnin report on an annual marine mammal gathering at Monterey Bay, California. Sea otters and sea lions have already arrived. Aaron Fitzgerald and Steve Backshall, aboard a research vessel, look for humpback whales.
Humpback Whales (04:29)
Sanjayan traces marine mammal migration routes to Monterey Bay on a map. Upwelling fills the area with nutrients, attracting species from thousands of miles away. Learn about humpback whale behavior.
Humpback Communication (03:50)
Aboard a research boat, Backshall interviews marine biologist Doris Welch about studying humpback whales. Air spouts and bird congregations indicate surfacing. Tail slapping communicates finding fish shoals.
Humpback Migration (04:44)
Humpback whale mothers travel with their calves over 1,000 miles from Mexico to Monterey Bay. A calf plays in Baja California before beginning the journey. Mark Carwardine collects a squid eyeball left by killer whales—whale calf predators.
Saving Whales (03:36)
In the 19th and 20th centuries, millions of whales were hunted for their blubber. Environmental conservation groups campaigned to ban commercial whaling; humpback whales may be removed from the endangered species list.
Sea Lion Behavior (03:40)
Sea lions have increased from 1,500 to 240,000 individuals since being protected. At a Channel Islands breeding colony, pups gain weight before the migration to the Monterey Bay. Changing ocean conditions mean mothers must travel farther to find food; some pups starve.
Warming Waters (02:48)
See humpback whales and a great white shark in the Monterey Bay. The water is five degrees warmer than usual due to the El Nino weather pattern and a mysterious mass of warm water called the "blob."
Great White Shark Behavior (04:02)
The ocean predators can sense prey from miles away. Backshall shows they are not interested in attacking humans. He dives with sea lions that are agile in the water; if they spot sharks from below, they can avoid being attacked.
Sea Otter Behavior (03:59)
Watch as dolphins flee orcas and humpbacks chase away orcas. Sanjayan visits a mother sea otter and her five week old pup. Daily activities include grooming, nursing, and collecting shellfish.
Dolphin Behavior (04:55)
Backshall is surrounded by a dolphin super pod; learn about hunting and communication techniques. View footage of an orca tossing a dolphin into the air and humpback whales driving the orcas away.
Blue Whale Behavior (04:39)
Blue whales consume four tons of krill daily and are constantly searching for food. Whale expert Kate Spencer discusses declining numbers. Learn about Monterey Bay Aquarium's program training female sea otters to adopt orphaned pups for rehabilitation.
Blue Whale Anatomy (05:05)
A blue whale surfaces in Monterey Bay. Dr. Joy Reidenberg explains how their skeletons and internal organs allow them to survive while diving up to 1,600 feet.
Big Blue Live Conclusion (04:01)
A blue whale surfaces in Monterey Bay. Bonnin, Backshall, and Sanjayan reflect on the unique opportunity to view marine mammals and discuss the area's contribution to species conservation.
Credits: The Best of Big Blue Live (00:29)
Credits: The Best of Big Blue Live
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