Animal Planet US set to bug viewers

MUMBAI: Cicadas, tarantulas and beetles! The adventures of Animal Planet US' bug man, quirky entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste will take viewers on a journey into the world of insects- large and small. His new series Buggi' With Ruud debuts on Animal Planet US in June as part of the network's brand-new destination night, Wild Wednesdays.

This global arthropod adventure uncovers little-known secrets about the insect world and debugs myths about multi-legged creepy-crawly species to entertain and enlighten two-legged humans. Ruud's travels will take him everywhere: He will cross paths with one of nature's most accomplished marksmen, the bombardier beetle, as it fires boiling hot toxic fluid at predators in Africa.

In Brazil, Ruud will be in for an incredible insect light show. He'll groove to the musical talents of the whistling tarantula and the singing caterpillar (it sounds like maracas) in Australia and Panama. In Asia, Ruud will witness the rhinoceros beetle lift 850 times its own weight, or the equivalent of a human lifting 80 midsized automobiles.

After seeing a new bug and witnessing its coolest tricks, Ruud will show just how amazing it is by comparing it to something on a human scale, making a connection between our lives and those of insects.

Using his own demonstrations and humorous analogies, the scientist will do everything from climbing into a wind tunnel to experience what it feels like to be a desert locust flying through the air at 21 miles per hour, to spending a day buried underground to see firsthand what the cicada nymph goes through for 17 years, to seducing the sting of an angry hornet just to see how quickly it will summon a frightening swarm of supporters that force Ruud to take refuge in his car.

Animal Planet US executive VP and GM Maureen Smith said, "Animal Planet has swarms of new, exciting programming set to debut in 2005. Buggin' With Ruud is the network's first series dedicated to insects. We're taking Animal Planet viewers closer to bugs than they've ever imagined so they will have a truly sensory experience."

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