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Earth Day Coverage On Sky

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Fuseworks Media
Earth Day Coverage On Sky

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COVERAGE: Thursday 22 April, from 4.30pm

Celebrate Earth Day with three back-to-back ocean-themed documentaries, including Shark Eden. Marine ecologists find the Line Islands exploding with life, including a 1950s nuclear test site that now has ten times more sharks than any studied reef of Earth.

4.30pm: Underwater Oasis Off the southern coast of Africa lies an underwater metropolis like none other on the planet: Aliwal Shoal.

A fossilised dune of towering pinnacles and deep caves hidden five kilometres out to sea, Aliwal Shoal is a place where sharks flock and fish walk on the bottom of the ocean.

Home to the greatest congregation of rays and sharks - including tiger sharks and ragged toothed sharks - Aliwal sees the comings and goings of thousands of migrating species. Millions of sardines are pursued to the shoal by the ocean's great predators, with huge pods of dolphins numbering in the thousands and the shoal's ubiquitous sharks feasting side-by-side.

Humpback whales migrate around the shoal, and cameras capture the vision of hundreds of sand sharks - never seen before - to reveal their secret world and behaviour. Evolutionary adaptations are at their most spectacular, as marine species showcase the remarkable tools Mother Nature has gifted them with to avoid predators or stalk prey.

5.30pm: Diving The Labyrinth Some of the world's best cave divers have travelled to the Bahamas Islands to plunge into the unique abyss found in blue holes - underwater caves that can go hundreds or even thousands of feet down and feature a maze of passages and tunnels that act as liquid time capsules.

Led by National Geographic emerging explorer and anthropologist Kenny Broad, a team of divers and archaeologists investigate these caves to unlock the mysteries of an ancient Bahamas teeming with life that quickly vanished, leaving the islands now mostly barren.

What caused these animals to disappear, and could 800-year-old human skulls provide the answer? Cave-ins, poisonous gasses and potentially deadly effects from the pressure of venturing too deep, cave diving is a dangerous sport - a lesson the team learns firsthand after encountering the remains of a diver wearing a 1970s wet suit and flashlight whose visit to one blue hole proved to be his last.

6.30pm: Shark Eden In a remote corner of the South Pacific, National Geographic Explorer Enric Sala - one of the world's leading marine ecologists - leads an elite team into an isolated underwater Eden.

Sharks reign in the Line Islands, where humans rarely visit and survival is still of the fittest. Completing a daring survey of life on the reef from the micro to the mega, the research team uncovers secrets in what could be the last unspoiled archipelago on Earth.

Covering nearly 3,300 kilometres on the 30-day expedition, the team faces a host of dangers - exposed to powerful currents and huge waves. What they find calls into question everything we know about a healthy reef ecosystem.

Along the journey, they find over three times as much coral as any other reef in the Indo-Pacific on Flint Island. Surrounding Malden Island - the test site of three nuclear bombs in 1958 - the team finds a reef exploding with life and ten times more sharks than any other studied reef on the planet.

Millennium Atoll offers a surprising refuge for blacktip reef sharks while Starbuck Island has the second largest biomass of any reef ever studied.

ANIMAL PLANET COVERAGE: Thursday 22 April, from 10.30pm

Thursday 22 April, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of the worldwide annual event, Earth Day! To celebrate promoting a healthy sustainable environment, Animal Planet will be showcasing three of its top environmental documentaries.

10.30pm: Australia Taking the Heat Natural World: Australia -Taking The Heat: High on the list of the most inhospitable places on Earth should be Australia's central desert.

11.30pm: River without Frontiers The Morava river with its forests is one of the most beautiful and ecologically valuable riverscapes featuring the richest biodiversity in all of Central Europe.

12.30pm: Wild Mongolia One of the most stunning landscapes on earth is found in the heartland of Asia: stretching from the impenetrable forests of Siberia to the Chinese wall in the South.

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