spider

NOVA
What Are Animals Saying?

 

With an emphasis on provocative and unanswered questions, this series follows researchers on the winding paths of uncertainty and the unknown — and from the mysteries of astrophysics to the technologies that could rival or surpass the abilities of the human mind. On this first episode, follow the clues that reveal how animals “talk” to each other from spider thumps and mice mating songs to the intricate signals between our closest relatives, the chimps.

 

 

NATURE
Animal Homes: Animal Cities

 

For some animals, living in the midst of huge colonies of their own kind is the most secure and rewarding housing arrangement. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, providing shared information about food sources and reducing the odds of attacks on individual birds. But colonies are useful for predators, too. Social spiders in Ecuador work together to capture prey 20 times the size an individual might subdue on its own. For others, communal living provides multi-generational care-giving options or the opportunity to build enormous cities like the acre-wide multi-million-citizen colonies built by leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica, or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, built entirely by tiny corals.

 

NATURE
Animal Homes: The Nest

Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from a diversity of materials, including fur, grasses, leaves, mosses, sticks and twigs, bones, wool, mud and spider silk. Quite a few contain man-made materials – twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each is a work of art, built with just a beak! All over the world, birds in the wild arrive at diverse nesting grounds to collect, compete for, reject, steal and begin to build with carefully selected materials, crafting homes for the task of protecting their eggs and raising their young.