Open your eyes to the bizarre, ferocious and surprisingly beautiful world of the invertebrates. Join David Attenborough on his ground-breaking exploration into a spectacular miniature universe never normally seen but teeming all around us. Not just bugs and beetles, but exotic cicadas, neon glow worms, intricate silk-weaving spiders and bat-eating centipedes -- not to mention a whole host of other incredible life forms and intimiate, startling behaviour. Thanks to technical innovations in lighting, optics and computerised motion control this turbulent, super-organised world is finally revealed from the perspective of its extraordinary inhabitants. These creatures may be miniscule, but they live life on a truly grand scale.
The first episode tells how invertebrates became the first creatures of any kind to colonise dry land. Their forerunners were shelled and segmented sea creatures that existed 400 million years ago. Some of them ventured out of the water to lay their eggs in safety, and Attenborough compares those first steps with today's mass spawning of horseshoe crabs off the Atlantic coast of North America.
Part 1 • 2005 • Nature
The next programme deals with flying insects. It begins in Central Europe, where the Körös River plays host to millions of giant mayflies as they rise from their larval skins to mate. — the climax of their lives. Mayflies and dragonflies were among the first to take to the air about 320 million years ago, and fossils reveal that some were similar in size to a seagull. Damselflies are also looked at in detail.
Part 2 • 2005 • Nature
The final programme looks at the superorganisms formed by bees, ants and termites. Attenborough reveals that their colonies, whose individuals were once considered purely servile, are "full of conflict, power struggles and mutinies." They evolved when such creatures moved away from a solitary existence and started building nests side-by-side, which led to a collective approach to caring for their young.
Part 5 • 2005 • Nature