Cold Water Warm Blood
An hour of whales, seals and dolphins frolicking in the rich waters of Kaikoura. This is the story of how warm blooded mammals came to colonise the cold seas of New Zealand.
A great upwelling of nutrients from the depths of the ocean off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island has produced an environment for the most diverse collection of seals, whales and dolphins anywhere in the world.
The Kaikoura coast is one the most productive stretches of water in the country, and provides a unique opportunity to explore the ecology and evolution of marine mammals in one location. It’s the best place in the world to see sperm whales. Big numbers of seals come to occupy the shores. Elephant seals can be found there, and three species of dolphins.
Bird species on the Kaikoura coast are plentiful too, and combine with the mammals to exploit the riches of the area in different ways.
And finally man, the newest marine mammal, shares the rich waters. From a rather stormy relationship in the past, when the rulers of the seas were targets of man’s harpoons, a more harmonious association now exists. And the sea creatures which once drew attack, are now the hunted of photographers and wildlife watchers from around the world.