Life is Good • 40m
Cyanobacteria oxygenated Earth's atmosphere billions of years ago, allowing oxygen-using creatures to evolve. Cyanobacteria are also credited with devising photosynthesis and multicellularity. Today they provide 20% of Earth's oxygen. These photosynthesizing bacteria are found in many environments, including freshwater ecosystems. This program was produced in collaboration with Jared Leadbetter, Professor of Environmental Microbiology at the California Institute of Technology.
Up Next in Life is Good
Ants on the Ground
Recording the anthill in its splendor of minute sprawling activities. A colony of Harvester ants patrols the ground, on-duty and at rest. An ant colony is optimized for efficiency, but that doesn't mean that all ants are working all the time. In fact, having a surplus of members is an important f...
Queen Ant Digs
Having recently mated, a queen ant digs furiously underground to found a new colony. Only 2% of ant queens successfully found new colonies. The initial challenge is to select a suitable location for the new colony. Next, a newly-mated queen ant must dig down into the ground, where she will lay he...
The first generation of ants raised by a new ant queen are called minims, and they are smaller than subsequent generations of ants. Right off the bat, the young female ants will tend the developing brood and venture above ground to find food to bring back to the queen and other colony members. Ov...