Image for Little leapers

Little leapers

Duration: 01:00

A huge and varied population of animals live on the land that have bodies little or no different from their ancestors that came from the sea long ago. And they are extraordinarily successful. But they are seldom seen and showing a springtail next to a pin head shows why. They are tiny and there may be over 10,000 individuals in the space of a square metre. Drying out is a very real danger and some waterproof themselves regularly with a droplet of special grooming fluid. They have 2 inflateable tubes that enable them to get to those hard to reach places. The have a rather novel way of jumping. A tiny 2 pronged lever that can catapault them some 15cms into the air. The equivalent of a human jumping over the Eiffel Tower.

Available since: Mon 22 Jun 2009


Key talent
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Martin DOHRN
Camera Operator
Camera Operator
Richard KIRBY

This clip is from

Life in the Undergrowth Invasion of the Land

1/5 Revealing how animals first left the seas to colonise the land over 400 million years ago.

First broadcast: 23 Nov 2005

Image for Invasion of the Land Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss