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April 21, 2007

Return of the Cicadas

Filed under: Magicicada — Dan @ 10:05 am

The Return of the Cicadas 17-Year cicada documentary will be airing on PBS in the Brood XIII emergence area soon. As soon as next Thursday, 4/26. Set your Tivo/DVR to record it!

Periodical cicadas are among the most unique creatures in the animal kingdom. After spending 17 years underground as juveniles, they emerge for a brief, cacophonous population explosion aboveground, where they transform into adults, mate, lay eggs and die off after only a few weeks.

WFYI presents Return of the Cicadas, an original local documentary produced in association with the Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve. Producer Samuel Orr followed the life cycle of Brood X, which made its momentous ascension in the spring of 2004. It accounted for one of the largest insect outbreaks on Earth. Many different broods exist, on unique 17-year schedules. Brood XIII is due to arrive in northern Indiana this May.

Through stunning close-up video and time-lapse photography, Orr and others offer an amazing glimpse at the lives of these enigmatic insects. The documentary was made possible by the research of IU biologist Keith Clay through grants provided by the National Science Foundation. The NSF and Science Magazine recognized the production with a national award for a short 5-minute film on the Brood X outbreak.

Here’s a sample of the show from YouTube:

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