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  • Ants – Nature’s Secret Power (2006)

    Ants – Nature’s Secret Power (2006)

    Ants, bees and wasps make up only 3 percent of animal diversity yet they may constitute up to 50 percent of the total animal biomass in land habitats. Bert Hölldobler is a leading entomologist (scientist who studies insects). He collaborated with ant biologist E.O. Wilson and developed the field of Sociobiology. The documentary does an excellent job introducing us observations coming from both natural and laboratory setting. First observation comes from the European red wood ants (Formica polyctena). These ants […]

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  • Nesting Nightjar in Camouflage

    Nesting Nightjar in Camouflage

    This is an excellent footage capturing the behavior of a ground nesting nightjar. These birds are night-flying aerial insectivores active during dusk and dawn. It is almost impossible to see them during the day because of their camouflage. Nightjars are also known as goatsuckers which has no biological basis. If an intruder comes dangerously close to the nest, adults perform a well-known “broken wing” display. It is an excellent visual distraction. The bird will easily disappear soon after the intruder is at a […]

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  • Red wasp hunting grasshopper.

    Red wasp hunting grasshopper.

    These sequences were captured on May 14th 2010 in Athens, GA, USA. Young grasshopper nymphs (Romalea microptera) all emerged together as a brood were hanging out on a plant (Galium spp.). There were 17 of them. Red wasp (Polistes carolina) began hovering over for a couple of minutes and attacked one of them. The wasp began eating by chewing the abdomen first and later flew over to the top of a kudzu vine (Pueraria montana) to eat the rest. Although […]

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  • Daytime Hunting of Barred Owl (Strix varia)

    Daytime Hunting of Barred Owl (Strix varia)

    On April 16th 2011, a barred owl glided over my head while I was filming something else along the Orange Trail of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, GA. Hunting during daytime indicates that this individual has extra mouths to feed. You can hear the altruistic alarm calls of other nervous birds and rodents. The high pitched alarm call (of a chipmunk?) is particularly audible immediately before each move of the owl. I deliberately kept the scenes long […]

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  • Acid Attack

    Acid Attack

    Wildflowers can build a community of allies for defence. Ants defend extrafloral nectaries (nectar produced in organs other than flowers) of a passion flower vine against herbivores. This is an example of plant-animal interaction evolved to solve at least three biological problems. [1] Extrafloral nectaries seen in this video resemble butterfly eggs.  Butterflies avoid laying their eggs on host plants if they see other eggs. This is particularly true for two species of butterflies Gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and Variegated […]

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