It’s rutting season on Frozen Planet this week as both the Musk Ox and the Caribou fight for ladylove on the arctic plains.
A gigantic bull ox wanders onto the screen introduced by a reverent Attenborough.
The tundra-beefcake marks his territory with glands on his face and as the ox rubs his hairy head aggressively into the grass, an impending fight scene beckons.
As another Musk Ox swaggers across the plain, it’s clear that the two must fight for the hairy harem close by.
Horns locking and shaggy coats shaking, the oxens’ hooves scrape the soil. Lowering their gargantuan heads, they charge.
Watching the ox fight has equivalent testosterone and drama of a Ridley Scott battle scene (think Gladiator.) The rival is soon outmanoeuvred, but it seems viewers are shaken as 'Musk Ox' begins to trend on Twitter.
@David Aaronovitch noted "Musk Ox fighting are like two leather sofas colliding."
While jarred viewer @truthsandwich armchair-tweeted:
"Note to Ibuprofen salesmen: The musk ox and its kin are a hitherto untapped market for your wares."
Soon caribou career across the landscape, the furry reindeer looking festive in the frosty landscape. But amplified snorts and orchestral crescendos warn that excitement is just around the corner .
A female cow fluttering her lashes at the camera catches the eye of a nearby bull. The threatening-looking male topped with antlers larger than a modest sapling gives chase. The female bolts.
As her dainty legs canter across the tundra, other lascivious bulls join the chase. Apprehension creeps over the viewer watching the lone deer pursued by fifteen snorting rutting stags, their eagerness obvious in several camera close-ups.
However as with all Frozen Planet moments, there’s a slightly human cast to the episode. The hunt has something of a Lynx advert about it.
Emperor penguins plopping out onto the ice might be one of the episode’s most joyous moments. Their dumpy black and white bodies skid across the snow looking alarmingly round for an admittedly tubby creature.
Attenborough explains it’s to do with the seasons, that “penguins are particularly fat at this time of year.” With Christmas treats just around the corner, 'fraid its not just penguins Dave.
A polar bear yawns to the setting sun and pink light glints off glaciers as the programme draws to a close. Hats off to another fantastic episode.
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