[3 parts] Steve Backshall explores the world of insects and their close relatives, the arachnids and crustaceans, in order to find out more about their habits and secrets. Ch1. Them and Us Steve Backshall explores the connections and relationships humans have with insects and their close relatives, the arachnids and crustaceans. He begins by revealing how huge armies of driver ants give houses a five-star clean-up in Kenya, while in China, silkworm caterpillars are credited with shaping culture and distribution. He also explains that, despite people's perceptions of these creepy-crawlies, mankind could not live without them. Ch2. Making Worlds Steve Backshall explores the influence that insects and their close relatives, the arachnids and crustaceans, have on the planet's many ecosystems. He reveals how the landscape of South America's grasslands has been created almost solely by one team of bugs - grass-cutter ants - while in east Africa, the savannah would quickly become swamped in dung were it not for the activities of a particular beetle. He also contemplates the idea that without one tiny creature, the blue whale could not exist. Ch3. The Secrets to Their Success Steve Backshall explores why an estimated 10 million species of insects are so abundant, and examines the secrets of their success. In Yellowstone National Park, he reveals how teamwork enables a colony of bees to scare off a hungry bear, and he travels to the Swiss Alps to highlight the relationship between ants, wasps and butterflies.
In southern Israel, two vastly different worlds live side-by-side. A tropical sea and ancient coral reef teem with aquatic life alongside a harsh desert landscape filled with hardy reptiles and alien acacia trees. Venture into a part of Israel that few people imagine exists.
The squirrel family is one of the most widespread on earth, so what is the secret to their success? There are squirrels that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. We uncover the extraordinary abilities of these cheeky characters, putting their problem solving to the test on a specially designed assault course. We team up with some of the world's top squirrel scientists who are making groundbreaking discoveries - from the fox squirrel who can remember the location of 9,000 nuts to the grey squirrel whose tree-top leaps are the basis of new designs in robotics. We also see the world through the eyes of an orphan red squirrel called Billy, as he grows up and develops all the skills he will need to be released back to the wild. It is time to meet the animal family we should never underestimate - the super squirrels.
More kinds of plants are crammed together in the tropical rainforests than anywhere else on Earth. The result is astonishing beauty and intense competition - a plant battleground. New filming techniques allow us to enter the plants’ world and see it from their perspective and on their timescale. From fast-growing trees to flowers that mimic dead animals, this is a journey into a magical world that operates on a different timescale to our own.