You’ll never look at insects the same way again after seeing the three-part series, “Planet Insect,” which launches July 28 on the subscription video streaming service Curiosity Stream. The incredible footage is narrated by “Star Trek’s” Kate Mulgrew.
While Friends of Animals’ mission is to protect wildlife and critical habitats, we want people to understand how critical it is to care for all creatures great and small, including insects, which is why we love this series. Insects have been around for 400 million years, and planet Earth is run by them. Without insects our world would fall apart.
This series pays homage to them with beautiful close-up views of insect behavior never imagined. Two-thirds of all animals on the planet are insects, and their success at adapting is astonishing, as is their evolution.
The first episode showcases how insect bodies evolve to adapt to extreme conditions of heat, cold and weather. There are bugs who thrive on ice and snow, and overall insects have conquered the world because of their body designs.
Beetles are half of all insect species and nature’s ultimate success story, while butterfly wings are covered in scales, which repels water on their wings. Among other impressive facts, top guns of the insect world are flies, and up close they can appear beautiful. Also, while bees rely on pollen and nectar from flowers, the oil bee’s two long legs help it collect floral oil at the bottom of two spurs of a flower.
The second episode reveals that insects are excellent at making more insects—but for some it’s not always easy as they are tiny creatures living on a big planet. The UK’s emperor moths must find each other across the endless terrain of vast heathlands, for example. Viewers are treated to the stunning light shows of fireflies and the elegant dances of colorful tropical mosquitoes as they track down the opposite sex and then try to provide their offspring the best start in life.
The third episode, “Hive minds,” thrusts the audience into the inner workings of ant, bee, wasp and termite colonies. It’s moving to watch the caring cooperation for the good of the whole society. For instance, when green tree ants come to a gap too wide to cross, they work together to bridge it. And their nest of folded leaves couldn’t be built without close cooperation.
The complex military precision movements of Matabele ants who go to war with termites are astounding. You’ll witness how they not only rescue and carry their wounded comrades home after an attack on a termite colony, but they also go to great lengths to nurse them back to health.
Perhaps this underscores the point of the series, that insects are resilient and they deserve our appreciation and respect. But they are not invincible. They could use our help and protection. When we give them a chance at survival, they will always pay us back.
You can read about how to help insects here.
You can subscribe to Curiosity Stream for $2.99 a month here. (Through a partnership between Altice and Curiosity Stream, all Optimum customers get exclusive, complimentary access to thousands of documentaries on demand.)