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Natural World

  • Season 30
  • 14 episodes
  • Nature
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Episode 2: Natural World: Empire of the Desert Ants

Summary

Documentary filmed in Arizona, following a honey ant queen's rise to dominance and the methods it uses to extend its influence and keep its subjects under control, including cannibalism, genocide, the ruthless elimination of rivals and the sacrifice of thousands. Narrated by Andy Serkis.

Review

One of those natural history films that leaves you disturbed, creeped out and amazed. Don’t be put off, mind: it is an astounding feat of photography, delivering an ant’s-eye view of the Arizona desert over the eight-year life of a honey ant colony. Scene after scene delivers macabre wonders, like the way some worker ants (called “repletes”) feed so much that their abdomens become vastly swollen, filled with concentrated honeydew, whereupon the repletes are fixed to the roof of the nest and become living larders for the rest of the colony. It’s a nightmare, alien world, but beautiful in its way.

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

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NarratorAndy Serkis

Crew

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Executive producerTim Martin
ProducerIan Gray
Series editorSteve Greenwood

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