"Desert Elves", sometimes styled as "The Desert Elves", is the 24th episode of the second season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on November 18, 2013. Overall, it is the 64th episode of the series. The episode was written and directed by Chris Kratt.
In this episode, Koki and Jimmy are heading to town to get some supplies, when their hover bike runs out of fuel, and they are stranded in the Sonoran Desert. Although the Kratt brothers and Aviva are unable to track them, Jimmy's collection of seeds left a trail from the Tortuga to him and Koki's current location, and the brothers follow it by Buzz Bike. But as the seeds, which they find out to be jumping beans, jump farther apart, and night approaches, they decide to switch methods and rely on the keen hearing and sharp vision of the elf owl.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers walk around in the Sonoran Desert and find various animals that have adapted to live in the Desert. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Koki and Jimmy (who is holding onto his collection of seeds) are speeding across the Sonoran Desert via hover bike to go to town. Back at the Tortuga, Aviva is cleaning up Jimmy Z's seeds. The Kratt brothers beg Aviva to make an Elf Owl Creature Power Suit. Aviva grudgingly agrees and asks them to gather information. Later, Chris and Martin don a saguaro cactus disguise. They lean next to a real cactus, and an elf owl comes out of its burrow. A feather falls from it, and Martin scans the owl. However, the feather floats away. They try grabbing it, but they end up rolling onto a forest of cacti.
Koki and Jimmy's hover bike loses fuel, and they are stranded in the Sonoran Desert. Meanwhile, the elf owl lands on Chris's head. Martin names the elf owl Elfis, but then, Aviva calls and realizes that Koki and Jimmy are not back at the Tortuga. The Kratt brothers return to the Tortuga, where Chris notices the trail of seeds originating Jimmy's seed collection. The Kratt brothers get on their Buzz Bikes and follow the trail, believing that they will find Koki and Jimmy.
Eventually, the seeds start dispersing. The Kratt brothers stop and find out that the seeds are jumping beans. One enters a hole inhabited by a burrowing owl. Aviva calls and tells them why jumping beans jump. Inside of a jumping bean is a caterpillar. When the beans are heated, the caterpillar spasms and jumps to a cooler spot. Realizing that they are running out of time, the Kratt brothers immediately get on their Buzz Bikes and return to searching for Koki and Jimmy.
Night approaches, and the Kratt brothers can not see the jumping beans on the ground anymore. Elfis then lands on Martin's head. This reminds them that an Elf Owl Creature Power Suit may be the key to saving Koki and Jimmy. Aviva teleports the finished discs to the Kratt brothers, and they activate their Creature Power Suits. They follow the jumping bean trail, which is now visible to them. The Kratt brothers then hear the growling sound of Jimmy's stomach. They find Koki and Jimmy, and later, Aviva arrives in the Tortuga, and the team reunites.
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers and a scientist set up an owl trap at a burrowing owl burrow. They trap one, take measurements, and tag it. After releasing the owl, the Kratt brothers conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- Western diamondback rattlesnake (adults)
- Giant desert hairy scorpion (adults) (called Scorpion)
- Elf owl (adults)
- Burrowing owl (adults)
- Harris's antelope squirrel (adult) (called Ground squirrel)
- Coyote (adult)
- Sonoran collared lizard (adult) (called Collared lizard)
- Pinacate beetle (adult) (called Beetle)
- Jumping bean moth (adults) (called Moth)
Note: Featured animals are in bold, live action and mentioned animals are linked to Wikipedia..
- Gila woodpecker
- Round-tailed ground squirrel (called Ground squirrel)
- Prairie dog (mentioned)
- Gila monster
- Western diamondback rattlesnake (called Rattlesnake)
- Burrowing owl
- Beetle (mentioned)
- Elf owl
Key Facts and Creature Moments
- The elf owl is the smallest owl in the world.
- An elf owl's huge eyes allow it to collect large amounts of light. The two concave areas surrounding its eyes, and the position of its ears, allow it to collect plenty of sound.
- Burrowing owls use old ground squirrel holes as their homes. So do rattlesnakes, so any holes could have a ground squirrel, a rattlesnake, or a burrowing owl living in it.
- A burrowing owl imitates the sound of a rattlesnake when a big predator pokes around its home.
- Jumping beans are really caterpillars of the jumping bean moth that live inside the seeds of a Sebastiania bush. When the bean containing a larva is exposed to heat, the larva spasms, and the bean hops away.
- When a sound comes in, the big round disc-shaped face of the owl works like a huge satellite dish, collecting as much of the sound as possible.
- Owl ears are hidden under their feathers. But the left ear is lower, and the right ear is higher. That helps the owl pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from.
- An owl can hear an insect skittling in the leaf litter from 75 feet away.
- Elf Owls actually do not fly silently.