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Hunters and Hunted

Episode 7 of 10

The nature documentary explores mammals' ability to learn new tricks to survive, and features unique footage of a killer whale hunting elephant seal pups.

Mammals' ability to learn new tricks is the key to survival in the knife-edge world of hunters and hunted. In a TV first, a killer whale off the Falklands does something unique: it sneaks into a pool where elephant seal pups learn to swim and snatches them, saving itself the trouble of hunting in the open sea.

Slow-motion cameras reveal the star-nosed mole's newly-discovered technique for smelling prey underwater: it exhales then inhales a bubble of air ten times per second. Young ibex soon learn the only way to escape a fox - run up an almost vertical cliff face - and young stoats fight mock battles, learning the skills that make them one of the world's most efficient predators.

11 months left to watch

1 hour

Last on

Mon 5 Aug 2019 22:00



Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Hunters and Hunted

    Opening titles

    Duration: 00:21

  • Targets

    Cheetahs hunt together to take down a larger victim, and a newborn Ibex must think quickly on its feet if it’s to survive. Also, the Greater Bulldog bat catches his prey by surprise.

    Duration: 15:22

  • Learning Young

    Skills learnt during infancy helps the stoat overcome the much larger rabbit, and the bottlenose dolphins employ a food catching technique passed down from generation to generation.

    Duration: 06:50

  • Hunting Conditions

    Brown bears look to fatten up ahead of winter by catching salmon, and an Ethiopian wolf mother needs the pack's help to feed her pups. Elsewhere, the star-nosed mole senses food with great speed.

    Duration: 11:42

  • Defence

    Chital deer avoid a tiger with a little help from the langur monkeys, and the Californian Ground squirrel takes on the smell of a rattle snake to intimidate predators.

    Duration: 05:49

  • Refining Strategies

    An Orca whale comes up with a unique way of hunting seals.

    Duration: 07:26

  • Life on Location – Rock Pooling

    Two members of the Life crew get up close and personal with elephant seals; although getting too close could jeopardise the integrity of the film.

    Duration: 10:44


Role Contributor
Narrator David Attenborough
Producer Adam Chapman
Series Producer Martha Holmes
Executive Producer Michael Gunton


  • Mon 23 Nov 2009 21:00
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  • Mon 5 Aug 2019 22:00