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Attenborough: Life in the Undergrowth 1 Season 2010

The complete series presented by David Attenborough, exploring the extraordinary world of insects and invertebrates. For every one human being, there are 200 million insects, and our planet's ecology is entirely dependent on their existence.

Starring:
David Attenborough

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

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1. Invasion of the Land

Just over 400 million years ago creatures left the seas to move onto land. They were the invertebrates. Since then they have become the most successful group of animals, adapting to every environment on earth. Now, for every human there are 200 million of them. Their largely unseen world is now revealed as David Attenborough tells the story of the land-living invertebrates.

PARENTAL-GUIDANCE Subtitles Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: 1 January 2010
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2. Taking To The Air

From the stunning aerobatics of hoverflies in a Bristol garden to the mass migration of purple crow butterflies in Taiwan, this episode tells the story of the winged insects. The latest ultra-slow motion cameras reveal incredible flight skills, such as dragonflies catching their prey and bluebottles flying upside down.

PARENTAL-GUIDANCE Subtitles Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: 1 January 2010
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3. The Silk Spinners

Silk is the secret weapon of the undergrowth. From the protective stalks of lacewing eggs, to the hanging threads of glow-worms, insects use it in an amazing variety of ways. Silk is stronger than a steel thread of the same diameter but, unlike steel, it's elastic. Witness the spiders who have taken the use of this extraordinary material to its extremes.

PARENTAL-GUIDANCE Subtitles Runtime: 50 minutes Release date: 1 January 2010
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4. Intimate Relations

Ever since they came onto land, the tiny creatures of the undergrowth have been forming alliances and partnerships with each other and with plants. Many of these relationships are staggeringly complex. While some clearly benefit both partners, others most certainly do not.

PARENTAL-GUIDANCE Subtitles Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: 1 January 2010
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5. Supersocieties

Some invertebrates have overcome the limitation of their small size by banding together in huge numbers. Many of these societies are so fine-tuned in the way they operate it's as if they were a single being. But insect societies aren't all shining examples of co-operative behaviour. The series ends with two insect armies fighting head on as Matabele ants raid a nearby termite mound.

PARENTAL-GUIDANCE Subtitles Runtime: 50 minutes Release date: 1 January 2010
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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring David Attenborough
Season year 2010
Network BBC Worldwide
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Now the programme makers have a level of technology and skill that enables them to film tiny creatures in their natural environment, so naturally, David Attenborough is on the case. He and his team have made this extraordinary series of 5 programmes (about 50 minutes each) showing different aspects of the life that goes on all around us and under our feet, but that is usually completely unnoticed by us. He casts these invertebrates (that many people see as villains, to be sprayed and swatted out of existence), in a refreshingly positive light - pointing out that if the backboned animals were all to disappear, life on Earth would carry on very well with just the plants and invertebrates, but if the invertebrates were to die out, so would just about everything else. They do so many vital jobs to keep the environment ticking along: recycling waste, turning over the soil, pollinating the plants and so on, that healthy ecosystems depend on them. And when we see these small animals (some less than 0.5 mm) enlarged to a scale where the details of even their faces are clearly visible, they look very beautiful and astonishingly well adapted for the life-styles of their species.

The 5 programmes are: 1) 'Invasion of the Land' which shows how marine invertebrates clambered onto the land about 400 million years ago, and gradually adapted to and populated every suitable environment. 2) 'Taking to the Air' tells how insects began to fly and in some cases became incredibly proficient fliers. 3) 'The Silk Spinners' looks at a variety of invertebrates (not just spiders and silk-worms) that employ silk for many purposes. 4) 'Intimate Relations' examines some of the ways invertebrates interact with other species of plants and animals - both symbiotic and parasitic.
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Format: DVD
The BBC's "Life in the Undergrowth", presented by the seemingly indefatigable David Attenborough, takes us down into the diminutive world of the invertebrates. There are a lot of them - they outnumber us two hundred million to one - but, apart from spotting the occasional wasp, bee, fly or spider, we rarely pay them any attention.
The television series takes us down to their scale, using the latest in technology to get astonishing close ups of the insect world. And the images are truly astonishing. The tiniest creatures are revealed in their everyday struggle for survival. You are left with total admiration for their problem solving skills - they have each evolved to find a niche which they can exploit and in which they can thrive. There are spiders with ingenious means of capturing their prey … and there's a millipede which climbs inside caves and hunts bats! They live lonely lives, they live in vast societies. They climb high, they delve low. Some fly, some tunnel. There is such variety, each episode holds you rapt.
And my favourites? I am not happy with spiders - now there's an admission - but they fascinate me. So do ants, and the presentation of the ultimate society at work is utterly absorbing. But, my absolute favourite is the mating of the leopard slugs, incredibly beautiful, incredibly tender, incredibly erotic - and I am not planning to see a therapist.
The series explores the many worlds of the invertebrates and also offers invaluable insight into the way the films were made. It's an instructive set of DVD's which should inspire you not only to look more closely at the teeming life which surrounds you, unnoticed, but which may also stimulate your interest in photography and science. A series you can watch again and again, and, if you are hooked, I advocate that you look at the buglife.org website for further information on the subject.
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Format: DVD
Attenborough puts the world in perspective in this you've-never-seen-it-like-this-before series. He shows you insects and spiders doing amazing things - AMAZING things - and since he only time to show you a few dozen species and there are hundreds of thousands of species out there (pause to think about that for a second)... you are left with the certain knowledge that the world is a wonderful place and you have only scratched the surface. The camerawork and story-telling are up to his usual standard, but the insects are the stars. And the spiders. And the crazy thing is, some of the most amazing stuff he has to show you is not happening in the Serengeti or the Marianas Trench, but in your garden.....
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone who watches this series will find plenty to look for on their countryside walks. The series explores insects in places we never thought of. The excellent photography is unparalleled anywhere. It is of such high quality I found myself forgetting the miniscule size of these insects. Everyday objects held by Attenborough were shown beside the insects for comparison. The narration is that of the master himself who teaches us a trick or two on how and where to look for some of these insects. David Attenborough should be cloned.
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Format: DVD
I never thought that I would myself being fascinated by creepy crawlies, bugs & spiders. In spite of arachnophobia I sat glued to my seat watching the latter subject matter.

This latest production by the BBC Natural History unit is another winner. I kept on having to remind myself that the scale being filmed at was sometimes much less than a millimeter. An example of this was watching an insect which itself was no larger than a millimeter laying its eggs onto another insect. The eggs which must have been invisible to the human eye filled half the screen.

Part of the reason for the fascination I guess was the novelty of it all. Having watched umpteen videos on crocodiles lunging at their hapless victim crossing the rivers of the Serengeti, lions sauntering across the savannah, sharks attacking its prey, it was refreshing to watch four hours of footage where the likelihood of having been exposed to similar images was negligible.

Obviously the behaviour portrayed was picked for its uniqueness & originality. But that is all part of good story telling ' accentuate the unusual. One can argue that the full spectrum of insects was not adequately covered but that was the producer's prerogative.

I always watch the video on how the video was made. In this case it was weak.
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