Ant colonies are one of the wonders of nature - complex, organised and mysterious. This programme reveals the secret, underground world of the ant colony in a way that's never been seen before. At its heart is a massive, full-scale ant nest, specially designed and built to allow cameras to see its inner workings. The nest is a new home for a million-strong colony of leafcutter ants from Trinidad. For a month, entomologist Dr George McGavin and leafcutter expert Professor Adam Hart capture every aspect of the life of the colony, using time-lapse cameras, microscopes, microphones and radio tracking technology.
By 2050, lunar settlers could be making oxygen, growing food and finding water in a bustling, self-sustaining settlement. See what life may be like on the Moon. The day before the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, NGC presents Living on the Moon. Man has always dreamed of living on the moon, and now a team of NASA scientists is proving that dream could be achieved in our lifetime. We take viewers inside Constellation, the space program's plan to establish a human outpost on the moon by 2020. Take a closer look at the plans underway, from upgraded space suits to housing modules and moon vehicles, and examine the challenges ahead, such as finding water, making oxygen, growing food and protecting residents from deadly radiation. Then, using 3-D animation, we'll visualize how the remarkable outpost will take shape.
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.
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.
Category:Nature Duration:59:00 Series: Life
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