For years, researchers have overlooked the naked mole rat, an elusive rodent that lives underground. But now they believe they may help humans live longer, healthier lives. Follow scientists around the globe as they study these remarkable rodents in labs and in their natural habitat, tracking their mating habits, testing their blood, and decoding their genome in an ongoing quest to combat age-related illnesses and even aging itself.
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This episode details the relationship between flowers and insects. There are some one million classified species of insect, and two or three times as many that are yet to be labelled. Around 300 million years ago, plants began to enlist insects to help with their reproduction, and they did so with flowers. Although the magnolia, for instance, contains male and female cells, pollination from another plant is preferable as it ensures greater variation and thus evolution. Flowers advertise themselves by either scent or display. Some evolved to produce sweet-smelling nectar and in turn, several insects developed their mouth parts into feeding tubes in order to reach it.
Steve Backshall leads a team of elite explorers - including world leading underwater cave explorer Robbie Schmittner, former Royal Marine Aldo Kane and diving camera operator Katy Fraser - into the wilds of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Under the vast jungle here is the largest unexplored network of caves in the world, comprising thousands of kilometres of passageways. They are stunningly beautiful but incredibly dangerous - much of the system is under water. First the team must trek through tough, scorpion-infested jungle to camp alongside a giant sinkhole in the jungle floor - a dark gateway to an underworld full of nightmarish creatures.
Liz Bonnin meets the animals using outlandish means to find a mate and raise a family. From feisty mongooses who start wars to pick the perfect partner, to swaggering peacocks faking a mating call and thieving macaques who kidnap babies to get ahead, the natural world appears to be rife with animal rogues.
The ultimate guide to invertebrates, with key biological themes to show a wide range of species. Chapter 1: The Bug Buffet Bugs are the base of the food chain, food for just about everything else, but to start the process, they too must eat. Just like the bigger animals of the plains, there are grazers, scavengers, and predators that hunt them, termites growing fungi, and bees making their own honey. Chapter 2: Breeding Rutting deer and flirting love birds might be what we think of with animal courtship, but even bugs need to breed, and they face all the same challenges of winning a mate and raising their young. Some display, some caress, others fight. There are even insects that care for their young. Chapter 3: Army Few creatures have complex levels of regimented society as social insects. Bees, termites, ants, and wasps can form armies to help them build elaborate homes, defend their territories, grow their own food, raise their young and hunt their prey.
2021 • Nature