Supersocieties • 2005 • episode "Part 5" Life in the Undergrowth

Category: Nature
Download:

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.

Life in the Undergrowth • 2005 • 7 episodes •

Invasion of the Land

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.

2005 • Nature

Taking to the Air

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.

2005 • Nature

The Silk Spinners

The third instalment examines the spiders and others that produce silk. Attenborough visits New Zealand's Waitomo Caves, which are inhabited by fungus gnats whose illuminated larvae sit atop glistening, beaded filaments to lure their prey.

2005 • Nature

Intimate Relations

The penultimate episode focuses on the relationships between invertebrates and plants or other animals. It begins with ants and aphids: the former 'herd' the latter and protect them in return for secreted honeydew.

2005 • Nature

Supersocieties

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.

2005 • Nature

Fly on the Wall

Making Of (Special Fly On The Wall inserts at the end of each programme will explore, in greater detail, how the BBC's Natural History Unit was able to capture such stunning footage for the first time.)

2005 • Nature

Making Of

Life in the Undergrowth is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough

2005 • Nature

You might also like

The Damning Truth

What can the struggles of sturgeons and muskrats, two key Great Lakes species, tell us about the impact of upstream dams on the local ecosystem? Join conservationists as they assess the threats to the habitats of these animals and weigh options to counteract the damage before it's too late.

6/8Great Lakes Wild • 2017 • Nature

Vredefort Dome Crater of Life

Two billion years ago, a giant meteorite crashed into southern Africa's interior plateau, forming a six-mile-deep crater. Today, the site of this cataclysmic event is the Vredefort Dome--a dazzling and rich ecosystem of unique plant and animal life.

2/6Africa's Wild Horizons • 2017 • Nature

Finding the Way

Some animals have an extraordinary ability to find their way. The dung beetle, an insect revered by ancient Egyptians, uses the sun, the moon and even the Milky Way to move its prized ball of dung in the right direction. Pigeons are often considered feeble birdbrains, but they have incredible memories that can recall several complex travel routes with amazing accuracy and they even use man-made roads and hedgerows to find the quickest way home.

S4E2Natural Curiosities • 2018 • Nature

Photosynthesis

The air we breathe, and all the food we eat, is created from water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and a few minerals. It sounds simple, but this process is one of the most fascinating and complicated in all of science, and without it there could be no life on earth. For centuries people believed that plants grew by eating soil. In the 17th century, pioneer botanists began to make the connection between the growth of a plant and the energy from the sun. They discovered how plants use water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce sugars - how, in fact, a plant grows. The process of photosynthesis is still at the heart of scientific research today, with universities across the world working hard to replicate in the lab what plants do with ruthless efficiency. Their goal is to produce a clean, limitless fuel and if they get it right it will change all our lives.

2/3Botany: A Blooming History • 2011 • Nature

First Humans: The Cave Discovery

Secret History documentary charting an astounding archaeological investigation in South Africa that has discovered the remains of an entirely new species of human ancestor: Homo naledi. Following an expedition by a team of experts, led by Professor Lee Berger, as they recover over 1,500 fossilised bone fragments from a deep and nearly inaccessible cave and conduct extensive analysis

2015 • Nature

Critter Culprit

A look at what could make an animal vanish into thin air, what could cause the sea to take on an eerie glow, and what event would bring killer whales together in huge numbers.

S1E8Nature's Strangest Mysteries: Solved • 2019 • Nature