attenborough's ant mountain

David Attenborough is in the Swiss Jura Mountains to discover the secrets of a giant and the vast network of tunnels and chambers, home to a huge empire of ants.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

A Terra Mater Factual Studios production in association with BBC and ABC Australia produced by Ammonite Ltd.






Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards 2018 (Cannes, France): Gold Dolphin (Categories: Nature, Environment, Ecology)

Episode Information

The impressive mountains of the Swiss Jura set the stage for a natural drama – the epic tale of two cities. On the surface, they appear almost identical – but over the next year, these cities will experience dramatically different fortunes. Like any city, they're made up of vast social networks and transport infrastructures, to keep the inhabitants informed and fed. But unlike our urban jungles, these cities are made and run by – wood ants. The story is told, almost like a medieval saga: Sir David Attenborough is our guide through the mysterious realm of ants. On one hand, there is a super-colony over one billion strong – one of the largest animal societies on Earth. Life here is based on co-operation and harmony. On the other hand, we see a single mound city where ants of the same species are always waging wars on neighbouring colonies. Tens of thousands of ants are killed in these conflicts each year. David Attenborough takes us deep into the heart of these ant societies, to witness an unfolding drama. Meet the royal families and their loyal citizens – queens, workers, scouts and soldiers – in times of peace and war. 4K-capable endoscopes and specially designed miniature 4K lens systems help explore these miniature empires in ways that have never been seen before – from an ant’s eye view!

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