Segments in this Video

Giant African Bullfrog (05:29)


A male emerges from the ground after six months to find a mate. Pools created by rain trigger the males to fight for the center of the pond. They attract females with sound.

Hooded Grebe (04:52)

This rare bird travels long distances to breed in Patagonia. A female looks for a partner to dance with as part of the courtship ritual.

Sockeye Salmon (06:11)

A female travels from the Pacific Ocean to Iliamna Lake in the largest salmon run in the world. The salmon must escape grizzly bears and freshwater seals. After breeding, they die.

Hellbender (06:19)

These ancient salamanders live in rivers in the Appalachians Mountains. They move around during a few weeks of the year looking for nests. Males fight to steal dens while waiting for females to arrive.

Splash Tetra (03:43)

A male depends on water levels rising in the Amazon Basin. He searches for a place a female can lay eggs undisturbed. He must ensure the eggs stay wet until they hatch.

Lesser Flamingos (05:29)

These birds feed on microscopic algae that develops in the freshwater collected in the Rift Valley. Pink coloring is a sign of being well fed. After several weeks, males and females begin the mating ritual.

Callipterus Fish (05:04)

A male in Lake Tanganyika collects empty snail shells to add to his home. Over 20 females lay eggs inside the shells. A dwarf of the same species tries to sneak into a shell to mate.

Lechwe (05:02)

When the plains of Zambia flood, females are at their most fertile and begin to look for mates. A female is fit and strong and looks for the same qualities in a male. She runs back to the female herd after mating.

Caiman (00:0-2567)

In the wetlands of Brazil, a male searches for water. Thousands of males and females gather in the same place. Males assert dominance to secure space before grunting to attract mates.

Credits: Freshwater: Timing is Everything (00:34)

Credits: Freshwater: Timing is Everything

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Freshwater: Timing is Everything (The Mating Game)

Part of the Series : The Mating Game
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Freshwater covers only a tiny fraction of the earth's surface, but it is a vital meeting place for many animals - the stage on which millions gather to find a mate. Yet with so little of it available, and often only briefly, the challenge for most individuals is how to overcome intense competition when your rivals are just as dependent on the precious freshwater for their success. Whether it is from melting ice, torrential rain or shrinking wetlands, the cycle of freshwater is the trigger for spectacular mating rituals and fierce combat. The start of the rains in South Africa triggers a violent battle between male giant African bullfrogs. Rare hooded grebes in Patagonia perform one of nature's more comical dances to seduce their partner, and a male cichlid fish builds a home for his harem from old snail shells, but a sneaky dwarf has the last laugh there. The mating season for animals that live in freshwater is often determined by when is best for their new offspring - even if that moment is far from ideal for the parents. In the wetlands of Zambia, female lechwe antelope search for the strongest males while contending with drought, and in the Pantanal of Brazil at the end of the dry season, caimans congregate in huge numbers around the last remaining water to perform their spectacular displays. For all those dependent on the cycle of freshwater to breed, timing is everything.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: FPT280379

ISBN: 979-8-88678-115-1

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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