Longest Migration on the planet :
Migration is a survival adaptation of living organisms that is finely crafted by thousands of years of evolution.
It is mainly triggered by an instinct to survive and multiply. Search for food, favorable conditions to live and breed are the factors that drive the species to take on the quest of migration.
Some migrate relatively short distances while some other species take on a journey that baffles the animal kingdom.
How do animals migrate…?
Scientists are yet to reveal the complete secrets of migration. But thanks to them, we have some hints on certain migration patterns.
The instinct of migration is hardwired into the DNA of certain species. Some species use the geology of earth like mountains, rivers, islands, earth’s magnetic field, celestial positions, sense of smell to migrate.
Some species travel solo while others travel in millions.
Here are some of the Most Amazing and Longest Migrations on the Planet…
11. Wildebeest :
The Great Wildebeest migration of the Serengeti is the world’s largest terrestrial animal herd movement that can be seen from space.
Each year over 1.5 million wildebeest joined by 1000s of Zebras and Gazelles embark on a journey of 1,600-2000 km every year. Even the newborn calves join the migration as they learn to walk within minutes and run within an hour of their birth.
10. King Salmon :
King Salmon Rush is one of the most remarkable migrations in water. Their determined and strong instinct to breed push them against the river current.
King Salmons do not rest or eat until they reach their destination, their whole journey is sustained on their stored fat. They swim 2000 miles (3,218 km) against the river current making them one of the most enduring migratory species on the face of the planet.
9. Caribou (Reindeer) :
Reindeers are the extreme survivors of the cold desert because of their extreme adaptation. They migrate in large herds. Caribou migration is the longest land migration on the planet.
They travel about 2,737 miles (4,404 km) each year in search of food and to avoid predation on their newborn calves.
8. Semipalmated Sandpiper :
The name ‘Semipalmated’ refers to the webbing between the toes that is visible only from a very close range. These truly amazing birds are some of the strong marathon flyers of the Aves world.
Semipalmated Sandpipers fly a non-stop 3000-4000 km over the ocean from New England to South America. Their stored fat is their only energy source during the journey.
7. Monarch Butterflies :
Monarch Butterflies are found in North America. These butterflies are one of the very few legendary travelers of the insect world.
Every year, millions of Monarchs embark on a never-returning journey of 3000 miles (4,828 km) to spend out the killing winter on high mountains in Central Mexico where they congregate in millions and settle on the trunks and branches of Oyamel Fir trees.
6. Humpback Whales :
These Goliaths’ migration is one of the longest of any mammal. North Pacific Humpback Whales journey a whopping 6000 miles (9,656 km) non-stop from the Alaskan icy waters to reach Hawaiian warm waters to mate, give birth and nourish the calves.
5. Dragonflies :
Recent discoveries about them have revealed that they are the champions of the insect migrations. Dragonflies journeys from Southern India to Africa, an epic journey that covers 14,000-18,000 km. But their journey is completed in generations, maybe up to 4 generations.
4. Leatherback Turtles :
Image source: Wikimedia
Leatherback Turtles are the gentle giants of the turtle world that weigh up to 700 kg. They spend their entire lives in the ocean and come to land only to lay eggs. They travel an astounding 10,000 miles (16,093 km) to lay eggs.
What’s very interesting is they come back to the same place where they were born. This still baffles scientists, some scientists say that they use the earth’s magnetic field to locate their birthplace.
3. Northern Elephant Seals :
They are the largest of the Seals. Northern Elephant Seals take on the longest journey than any other mammal. With ‘double migration,’ their migration is one of the longest in the world.
They return to the same place twice a year to…
- Shed their outer skin and fur in a process called molting.
Males travel up to 13,048 miles (21,000 km)
Females travel up to 11,184 (18,000 km)
2. Sooty Shearwater :
They are the fastest migratory birds on the planet. Sooty Shearwater covers a massive 39,000 miles (62,764 km) in just 200 days. Each day, they cover 900-1000 km. That is equal to circling the Earth 1½ times. Their migration comprises of 20-30 million strong.
1. Arctic Tern :
They are the ultimate travel champions of the entire planet, the true titans of migration. Arctic Tern journey a mind-blowing 59,651 miles (96,000 km) from pole to pole every year. In their lifetime, they cover 1.5 million miles that is equal to 3 trips to the moon and back.
These are some of the true champions of the travel world. But the recent climate change and rising temperatures are threatening the migration of these beautiful species.