Modern Marvels

Season 12 Episode 4

Nature's Engineers 2

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 18, 2005 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Nature's Engineers 2
Think man is unique within the animal kingdom? You might not after this hour that features an amazing collection of earth's non-human inhabitants that use tools, build intricate structures, create traps to capture prey, and perform complex procedures, including farming. From Egyptian vultures utilizing stones to crack open hard-shelled ostrich eggs to chimpanzees using a "tool kit" to extract termites from their nests, we learn that our ability to create tools is not exclusive. Other mammals create subterranean structures, including those prodigious diggers Prairie Dogs, and many animals and insects make devices to augment hunting, such as the Ogre-faced Spider that spins a small web to throw down on unsuspecting passersby. And we're not the only ones to work as a unified, multi-skilled force. Aphid-Raising Ants protect and care for herds of plant juice-sucking aphids that they "milk".moreless
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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • It takes hornbill couples an average of 3 to 7 days to seal up the front of their nest cavitites. Depending on the species, females can reamin inside for 3 to 4 months.

    • Most spiders have a life span of one or two years. Thanks in part to their slower metabolisms, trapdoor spiders can live up to twenty years.

    • The name given to naked mole-rats is misleading. They are in fact more closely related to porcupines and guinea pigs than to either moles or rats.

    • The stones used by some chimpanzees to crack nuts are similar to the chopping tools used by our human ancestors more than 2.5 million years ago.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Raymond Mendez
      Museum Animal Exhibits, Designer

      Candace Sclimenti
      Primate Keeper, Los Angeles Zoo

      Nancy A. Bunn
      Primate Keeper, Los Angeles Zoo

      Michael Dee
      General Curator, Los Angeles Zoo

      Shawnee Riplog-Peterson
      Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

      Charles Griswold, PhD
      Arachnologist, California Academy of Sciences

      Martin G. Ramirez
      Biology Professor, Loyola Marymount University

      Norman D. Penny, PhD
      Entomologist, California Academy of Sciences

      George Montgomery
      Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

      James Evans
      Biologist, California Academy of Sciences

    • This episode is also known as "More Nature's Engineers".

    • Mike Hansell, PhD
      Author, "Animal Architecture"

      Executive Producer: Don Cambou
      Writer: Richard Jones
      Producer: Richard Jones
      Line Producer: Paul Dzilvelis
      Associate Producer: Danielle Parsons
      Editor: Barney Robinson
      Narrator: Max Raphael
      Music: Alan Ett Music Group
      Producer: Bruce Nash
      Creator: Bruce Nash
      Production Manager: Shelia Collins
      Post Producer: Tim Knauff
      Clearance Supervisor: Katie Del Core
      Director of Research: Anthony Lacques
      Production Controller: Dani Eslin
      Accountant: Sheridan Liu
      Coordinator: Melinda Esquibel
      Researcher: Mikki Del Monico
      Researcher: John Knapp
      Researcher: Sean Heckman
      Researcher: Tom Barclay
      Clearance Coordinator: D.W. Blakeslee
      Voice over Coordinator: Mikki Del Monico
      Assistant Editor: Laura Steinhoff
      Assistant Editor: Josh Beckham
      Assistant Post Coordinator: Alexander Rubinow
      Post Assistant: Gaylen Kobayashi
      Camera: Mario Benassi
      Camera: Peter Krajewski
      Camera: Lon Magdich
      Camera: Richaed Neill
      Camera: Rick Nyburg
      Camera: James Scott
      Camera: Nathan Shelton
      Camera: William Zide
      Field Audio: James Scott
      Field Audio: Liam Dalzell
      Online Editor: John Price
      Sound Mixer: Paul Ray
      Animation: Bart Roen
      Historical Consultant: Raymond Mendez

      Special Thanks:
      Mario Benassi
      Thomas Eisner
      Steve Gulick
      Mike Hansell
      John Hoogland
      Wendall Icenogle
      Nader Khalili
      Los Angeles Zoo
      Jason Orfanon
      Crickette Sanz

      Executive Producer: Beth Dietrich-Segarra
      Produced by Actuality Productions, INC