© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Some Animals Will Do Whatever It Takes To Survive

Thieving macaques use psychology to pull off scams. Delinquent cockatoos vandalize urban residences. Swaggering peacocks lie about their sexual exploits. These are nature’s greatest rebels that succeed by breaking all the rules.


From a promiscuous prairie dog to a kleptomaniac crab and an alpha chimpanzee who reigns with an iron fist, this three-part miniseries explores the most rebellious animals in the natural world. But are these creatures really breaking bad? Across the world, new studies are uncovering an astonishing variety of insubordinate animal behaviors, and despite how it appears on the surface, researchers are discovering the complex and fascinating science behind why these animals behave the way they do. In fact, being a rebel could be the key to success in the wild.

Nature 3511

HUNGER WARS - Meet the animals that will steal, cheat and fight to get food, including kleptomaniac crabs, thieving macaques, con artist spiders, tricky tigers and cannibalistic lizards.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • A jumping spider in the rainforest of Queensland must pass through an army of ants to feed on a nest full of delicious larvae. Feeding on ant larvae from birth gives the spider the ants’ chemical code and an identical smell so it can pass through the nest undetected.
  • In Madagascar, chimpanzee families compete for the fruit of a fig tree. The groups must fight each other for rights to the territory: loud calls announce the start of battle, which escalates into a frenzied situation aimed to terrorize and intimidate. After a violent skirmish, one group emerges victorious.
  • On a remote and barren island off the coast of Naxos, Greece, wall lizards resort to eating their own kind to not starve. Some even catch and swallow their victims whole.
More On This Topic