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Nature's Greatest Rebels Survive By Breaking All The Rules

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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.

8pm Sunday NATURE: NATURAL BORN REBELS
Some animals will do whatever it takes to survive.

Meet the gangsters, cheats and thieves of the animal world, including scamming macaque monkeys, promiscuous prairie dogs, thieving coconut crabs and thug-like psychopathic chimps. Some of the world's most crooked felons reside in the animal kingdom.

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.

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PBS
Prairie Dogs on Nature: Natural Born Rebels - The Mating Game

THE MATING GAME - Getting ahead in the mating game requires some astonishing behavior –from promiscuous prairie dogs to manakin pick-up artists, kidnapping macaques and hyenas with a bad case of sibling rivalry.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Female Gunnison’s prairie dogs are only receptive to mating for about six hours a year. If they don’t successfully mate during this window, they lose their chance until next year. In order to maximize this time and ensure pregnancy, two-thirds of female prairie dogs take more than one partner.
  • In Uganda, Banded mongoose packs are so tight-knit that the females tend to mate with their male relatives, resulting in a high proportion of inbred pups. When males and females from different groups wish to get together, they must incite a riot between the clans as a distraction.
  • Spotted hyenas are often born as twins, and shortly after birth the siblings fight to establish a hierarchy in their clan, which can include more than 100 hyenas. If food is in short supply, the dominant pup will push the subordinate pup away from their mother’s milk. In nearly 10 percent of hyena litters in the Serengeti, the subordinate dies of starvation.