We humans are quick to complain about the stress involved in house removals. But compared to the migrating habits of the following animals, we have it easy!

The Mammoth Migration of the Baleen Whale

baleen whale

A Baleen whale travels up-to 14,000 miles annually, the greatest distance of any mammal on Earth. Prior to this long migration, the whale fills its stomach by devouring prey that is readily available in the colder waters in the summer, but scarce in the winter. The scarcity of winter food prompts the whale’s long journey to a warmer climate, as the warmer waters require less energy, and thus less food for the whale.

Strength in Numbers: The Grand Spectacle of the Wildebeest Migration

wildebeest migration

 

Every year, around 1.5 million wildebeests migrate through East Africa in search of drinkable surface water; and, as if this huge number of wildebeests wasn’t impressive enough, they are joined along the way by roughly 400,000 zebras and 200,000 gazelles! Recent research has discovered that travelling in this mega-herd has some key benefits, most vital of which is the ‘swarm intelligence’ of the group. Essentially, the animals systematically work together as a means of overcoming the obstacles that they encounter on their migration.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the mass migration of 10 million Zambian fruit bats!

zambian fruit bats

 After migrating to Kasanka National Park, Zambia, these fruit bats will regularly consume twice their body weight in fruit! They arrive every November and December, and nobody is quite sure where they come from, or where they go following their feeding frenzy. These giant, straw coloured animals have a wing span of three feet and, given the sheer number migrating, transform the sky above the park into a mammoth sea of bats.

Feeling crabby? The Migration of the Christmas Island Crabs

Christmas island crab

On a remote island in the Indian Ocean, over a hundred million crabs annually migrate as a means of mating. Their journey, from the jungle to the beach, is so widespread that it requires the closing of roads on the island! The crabs are protected by law, and regularly bring in thousands of tourists who are eager to experience one of nature’s most impressive migrations.

Nature’s Deadly Relay Race: The Migration of the Monarch Butterfly

monarch butterfly

This butterfly’s migration cycle is longer than its lifespan! Incredibly, this means that no single monarch butterfly has ever completed the migration. Instead, the migrating female butterflies lay eggs that spawn the next generation of migrating butterflies, and the cycle continues. After several generations, the monarch butterfly finally reaches the mountains of Mexico.