Try traveling more than a million miles in your lifetime like a sperm whale does. (That's like swimming round-trip between New York City and L.A. 150 times.) Did you know that the monarch butterfly's annual journey across North America can take four generations to complete? Or that golden jellyfish of Palau race toward the sun every day?
I just learned that from a news release. But apparently Alec Baldwin is going to tell you about these things, and more, in an upcoming special on the National Geographic Channel, airing tomorrow. According to the release: "The National Geographic Great Migrations team spent two and a half years in the field, traveling 420,000 miles across 20 countries and all seven continents to bring this ambitious production to television."
To accompany the seven-part series, Geographic also published a book titled, "Great Migrations: Epic Animal Journeys." They shared a few pictures of pilgrimages with us, but you can see more on their site.
There is a dwindling, rogue band of pronghorn. An estimated 200 of them are left to make the biannual trek across northwestern Wyoming — the longest land migration made by any New World animal outside the Arctic.
Joe Riis/National Geographic
The whale shark, largest of all fish, feeds on some of the sea's smallest organisms. With their enormous mouths open, they suck in and strain out plankton and zooplankton. Whale sharks migrate to the Belize Barrier Reef to feast on snapper eggs.
Colin Parker/National Geographic
Golden jellyfish of Palau follow the sun in a daily migration that feeds their passengers and ensures their own survival.
Monarch butterflies clump by the millions on oyamel trees in Mexican forests. Before migrating, they drop from the trees and begin a giant mating spree.
Stephanie Atlas/National Geographic
Ant colonies of 500,000 to two million individuals operate as if they are the cells of a single organism. The workers' duties include carrying the colony's pre-adult pupae while migrating unfathomable distances.
Mark Moffett/Minden Pictures/National Geographic
A wildebeest herd stampedes across the dusty plains of Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
The instinct to breed drives salmon back to their birthplace, guided by their sense of smell. When they hit obstacles — like rapids and waterfalls — their determined biological drive keeps them going.
Paul Nicklen/National Geographic
After wintering as far from the Falklands as South Africa, black-browed albatrosses form a colony and breeding birds groom each other's neck feathers.
Frans Lanting/National Geographic
A zebra calf stays close to its mother for months, recognizing her by voice, smell and pattern of stripes.
Marc Moritsch/National Geographic
To the walrus, ice is life. The oxygen-breathing marine mammals rely on ice as a place to rest, to give birth, to nurse and to migrate. As ice disappears, their annual migration has becoming a race against time and distance, depth and disaster.