National Geographic Channel Premieres Spider Power

On the eve of the premiere of the SPIDER-MAN 2 movie, National Geographic Channel will air SPIDER POWER at 8:00 pm on June 25, 2004, an extraordinary look at the evolution of one of the most successful hunters on the planet. This one-hour special uses spectacular macrophotography and stylized CGI bring to bring viewers within attack range of some of the worlds most ingenious predators and their super powers.

With their hairy, scuttling bodies, unblinking eyes and venom pumping fangs, spiders are scary enough to humans. They are super predators in the insect kingdom. Around since before the dinosaurs, surviving planetary extinctions, spiders have been evolving their bizarre and often sophisticated hunting strategies for more than 400 million years. These creatures also have a mythology to them, which has inspired comic book series, television shows and the popular SPIDER-MAN movie franchise.

SPIDER POWER explores several incredible spiders which populate our world, and the arsenal of weaponry that makes them the most pervasive predators on earth including: spiders that jump 100 times their body length (equivalent to a six-foot tall teenager jumping the length of a soccer field in a single bound); spiders that generate silk so strong it could catch a speeding truck (five times stronger than steel, spider silk is one of the finest feats of engineering ever witnessed); spiders with macabre table manners who digest their prey while its still alive; virtually blind spiders that rely on vibration to detect their prey; spiders that spit toxic glue; and even spiders that walk on water.

Dr. Simon Pollard, a real life spider-man, transports viewers to a macroscopic arena to witness the fascinating evolutionary journey from simple insect to a super-power with a strategy. Dr. Pollard, curator of Invertebrate Zoology at Canterbury Museum in New Zealand, spent six weeks in the field collecting spiders for the special, which also includes never-before-filmed footage of Dysdera, a spider with a penchant for mating with the dead.

SPIDER POWER was produced by NHNZ (New History New Zealand) for National Geographic Channel. Neil Harraway, Ellen Windemuth and Richard Thomas were exec producers. Stephen Downes was producer/cinematographer while editors were Stuart Waterhouse and Downes. Writers were Jeff Shear, Clive Copeman, Downes and Richard Pain. Donald Ferns was graphics supervisor. Josie Haines and Ulf Schmidt handled video post-production and sound post-production was by Errol Samuelson and Adrian Kubala.

Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. The Channel, which debuted in January 2001, has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to more than 48 million homes. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.