"Journey to the Subnivean Zone" is the 66th episode of Wild Kratts, and the 65th episode to air.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers appear with skis on their feet and they find a meadow vole that lives in the subnivean zone. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Chris and Martin are flying Aviva's Mini-Rocket Jet through the temperate forests of Eastern North America, avoiding obstacles and having fun. After promising Aviva that they would return back for their vacation, they then take the mini rocket jet up to the clouds, where they witness the birth of a snowflake. Chris then rides a snowflake, and Martin starts naming some of them, because every snowflake is unique. But Chris' snowflake melts, and he falls. Martin moves to save him, but once he does, they end up in Jimmy's mouth. Jimmy does not like the taste of this "snowflake", and he spits it out, but the rocket's flight module gets lodged in his teeth, and the Kratt brothers get grounded in the snow.
After crashing in the snow, the Kratt brothers discover a meadow vole. Martin names it Rollo, because it reminds him of a roly-poly. Surprised that the vole is not hibernating, Chris and Martin follow it in their Mini-Rocket to make sure it is safe.
Meanwhile, Aviva starts feeling impatient, because the Kratt brothers have not returned. But instead of finding them, she decides to go on a beach vacation without them. Jimmy agrees, but Koki is worried.
The Kratt brothers follow the meadow vole into a hole in the snow. They realize that they are in the subnivean zone.
Back under the snow, the Kratt brothers move through vole traffic, and end up in Rollo's part of the zone. They find out that Rollo is a mom, and she has children. They then turn off their creature pod ringers so that they do not wake the babies. Consequently, Koki is unable to call them. Koki then notices that Aviva and Jimmy have set up a mini-beach. Afterwards, Jimmy is able to pick out the Rocket Jet flight module and he shows it to Aviva and Koki, who immediately begin their search for the Kratt brothers while Jimmy watches the beach.
The Kratt brothers follow Rollo to a section of the subnivean zone where a few voles are chewing on layers of bark. Above them, Aviva and Koki notice a red fox finding voles with its diving-in-the-snow technique. The Kratt brothers see it as an avalanche, and begin doubting that the subnivean zone is a winter paradise.
Aviva and Koki return to the Tortuga, taking the amplifier with them, leaving Jimmy alone and cold. Koki turns on the amplifier, and the snow begins to melt.
After getting chased by an ermine, the Kratt brothers exit the subnivean zone. Aviva and Koki find the Kratt brothers, but the Kratt brothers realize that they melted much of the subnivean zone, and the voles are freezing. Everyone immediately returns to the Tortuga.
The Kratt brothers return to normal size, and with Aviva's new invention, the AquaMisting Nozzle, plus their Peregrine Falcon Power Suits, Chris and Martin take it to the sky, using the nozzle to make snow. Everybody cheers, and the subnivean zone is restored. After summarizing their adventure, the Wild Kratts crew heads to the mini-beach for their "vacation".
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers explain how meadow voles and their predators (foxes) survive in the winter. Afterwards, they are covered by snow and they conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring, we'll see you on the creature trail!".
Key facts and Creature Moments
- The subnivean zone works for meadow voles because, although snow is cold, it acts as a blanket, trapping heat in.
- The subnivean zone is not only important for voles, but also for vole predators, who could not survive the winter without the voles.