Life in the Undergrowth
This finally moved up my que in Netflix and I’ve been absolutely riveted by this series. “Life in the Undergrowth” was produced by the BBC in 2005. It documents and details insects and invertebrates across the world as they go about their daily activities of eating, mating, and protecting their homes and young.
In each episode David Attenborough takes us to the landscapes and floors of every continent poking around and explaining the behavior of these little guys. As much as the insects make the show David Attenborough completes it. Most animal, science, and nature shows are narrated by an unseen off-screen voice. As Attenborough himself hikes up a hill or scoops away dirt you share his delight and appreciation in learning about these little guys. You feel like you’re on an expedition with your cool science teacher uncle as he explains everything for the layman.
One reason this series is so incredible now is that camera technology has vastly improved over the past few years. Tiny cameras are able to work their way into desert scorpion holes, and watch bumblebees hover in midair as you see the details in their eyes. Any “ewww” factor is quickly replaced by the appreciation of nature. There’s something oddly human about watching two spiders fight on their hind legs, or a spider take care of his nest in order to woo the eggs of a female visitor. And like the human culture some bugs are working hard to survive and provide, and some are taking advantage of others with more nefarious intentions. It’s beautiful, delicate, and deadly. I highly recommend it. And your kids would love it too. From David Attenborough:
“If we and the rest of the backboned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if they were to disappear, the land’s ecosystems would collapse. The soil would lose its fertility. Many of the plants would no longer be pollinated. Lots of animals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals would have nothing to eat. And our fields and pastures would be covered with dung and carrion. These small creatures are within a few inches of our feet, wherever we go on land — but often, they’re disregarded. We would do very well to remember them.”
More about the series at BBC’s site
by James Van Dellen