Episode Detail: The Conquerors - The Shape of Life
“The Conquerors” (Part 4) follows arthropods out of the sea some 380 million years ago. How did they do it? Jointed legs, “the essential marvel of arthropod design,” says narrator Peter Coyote. (That and algae, their “base camp.”) The first of these “relentless invaders” to climb onto land were various species of bugs and spiders, and eventually some (by now three-quarters of all creatures) developed wings. They “have filled our world with unbridled diversity,” sums up Coyote.