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Ants: Secret Power of the Nature

   2011    Nature
In this documentary we will be transported into the world of ants. What animal has achieved immortality? What animal is the most warlike? What animal has the greatest supercity on the planet? Not man but ants. They are the real success story. It is only their tiny size and our vanity that allows us to hold onto the myth of our supremacy. Ants rule the planet. They are found in more habitats from far northern Finland to the sweltering tropics. The largest colony known of these insects is in Japan, where 306 million ants, with 1 million queens, in 45,000 colonies spread over 270 hectares. The fiercest warriors on earth are the slave maker ants. Other ants have barracks and sentry posts to protect themselves against surprise attack.

Life: Primates

   2009    Nature
Intelligence and adaptability allow primates to tackle the many challenges of life, and this is what makes our closest relatives so successful. This resourcefulness has enabled primates to conquer an incredible diversity of habitat. Hamadryas baboons live on the open plains of Ethiopia in groups up to 400 strong. Strength in numbers gives them some protection from potential predators. But, should their path cross with other baboon troops, it can lead to all-out battle, as males try to steal females from one another, and even settle old scores. Japanese macaques are the most northerly-dwelling primates and they experience completely different challenges. Some beat the freezing conditions by having access to a thermal spa in the middle of winter. But this privilege is only for those born of the right female bloodline. For western lowland gorillas, it's the male silverback that leads his family group in the rich forests of the Congo basin. He advertises his status to all with a powerful chest-beating display. Most primates are forest dwellers, and one of the strangest is the tarsier – the only purely carnivorous primate. As it hunts for insects the tarsier leaps from tree to tree in the dead of night, using its huge forward-facing eyes to safely judge each jump. Good communication is essential for success in primate society.
Series: Life

Life: Insects

   2009    Nature
There are 200 million insects for each of us. They are the most successful animal group ever. Their key is an armoured covering that takes on almost any shape. Darwin's stag beetle fights in the tree tops with huge curved jaws. The camera flies with millions of monarch butterflies which migrate 2000 miles, navigating by the sun. Super slow motion shows a bombardier beetle firing boiling liquid at enemies through a rotating nozzle. A honey bee army stings a raiding bear into submission. Grass cutter ants march like a Roman army, harvesting grass they cannot actually eat. They cultivate a fungus that breaks the grass down for them. Their giant colony is the closest thing in nature to the complexity of a human city.
Series: Life

Life: Plants

   2009    Nature
Plants' solutions to life's challenges are as ingenious and manipulative as any animal's. Innovative time-lapse photography opens up a parallel world where plants act like fly-paper, or spring-loaded traps, to catch insects. Vines develop suckers and claws to haul themselves into the rainforest canopy. Every peculiar shape proves to have a clever purpose. The dragon's blood tree is like an upturned umbrella to capture mist and shade its roots. The seed of a Bornean tree has wings so aerodynamic they inspired the design of early gliders. The barrel-shaped desert rose is full of water. The heliconia plant even enslaves a humming bird and turns it into an addict for its nectar.
Series: Life

Is a Zombie Apocalypse Possible

   2014    Medicine
It is a nightmare that has stalked us for centuries: hordes of human beings transformed into mindless, cannibalistic monsters. Could this civilization-ending nightmare become reality? Scientists have discovered pathogens that turn insects into the walking dead. New strains of viruses are attacking humans every day. Mathematicians have calculated the likelihood of surviving a zombie virus outbreak: they’re not hopeful. Now neuroscientists are discovering how easy it is for us to lose conscious control of our bodies. Are we at risk of becoming puppets? If we were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would we even know it?
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 5
Clash of the Gods
Clash of the Gods

   2009    History
Through the Wormhole Season 5
Through the Wormhole Season 5

   2014    Nature
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
A Perfect Planet
A Perfect Planet

   2021    Nature
Bible's Buried Secrets
Bible's Buried Secrets

   2011    Culture
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science
One Strange Rock
One Strange Rock

   2018    Science