ASP: Extreme Killers
Patrick Stewart takes us on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind the incredible abilities of some of nature’s most successful killers: the alligator, peregrine falcon, and army ant. Mixing daring in-the-field experiments led by charismatic scientists, with specially constructed virtual models of each animal, this hour-long program investigates some extraordinary real-life superpowers.
The alligator is a predator with genuine superpowers. Scientist Greg Erickson has spent much of his adult life finding out what makes them tick. We join him in the heart of Alabama for a series of intriguing experiments. Starting out at in alligator infested swamps at night, he then moves to Alligator Alley – a sanctuary with over 200 captive nuisance alligators – large animals that are a danger to the general public. His daring hands-on tests give a unique insight into this stealth killer.
The peregrine falcon is the fastest creature on the planet. It’s been clocked at speeds of nearly 200 miles an hour. So how does it go so fast? And how does it survive such speeds? We travel to England to meet quirky falconer Lloyd Buck and veterinary scientist Jim Usherwood to find out. Together they put the peregrine through its paces. They end up with a new respect for the speed killer of the animal kingdom.
Finally we join insect expert Sean O’Donnell for an expedition into the heart of the Ecuadorian Rainforest. He’s on the trail of the army ant. When these tiny insects work together they punch well above their weight. They are one of the top predators in the rainforest, forming huge columns that sweep through the undergrowth like a wildfire. Each colony of thousands of ants works as one - in fact it can be described as a single superorganism. But each ant is the size of a grain of rice, and almost completely blind. So how do they cooperate so closely?
Alongside daredevil in-the-field action, Patrick Stewart explores the mysteries behind these superpowers using specially constructed virtual models of each of our animals. With them he shows us deep inside these creatures to find out what gives them their extraordinary powers.