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BBC America has an original program on the way, The Hunt, premiering on July 3 at 9/8c. The natural history docuseries is narrated by Sir David Attenborough, examining the hunters and those being hunted in wildlife.

The below clip gives you an idea of what to expect:

The seven-part series documents the contest between predator and prey, with the prey sometimes coming out ahead. The journey introduces us to animals living in the Arctic, jungle, sea, open plains, and surviving the changes of the coasts (where air, land and sea predators all meet).

The advance look at The Hunt made us want to examine other strategic attacks, close calls, and in some cases, the underdog getting the upper hand, with these 12 intense examples of survival of the fittest:

1. Snakes Tie Each Other into Knots
At first glance these two snakes may seem to be mating, or hugging, but this is no lover’s quarrel. These snakes are fighting it out, the best way they know how (with no limbs).

2. Python and Alligator Play Chicken
A full-grown alligator has an advantage over a python with his powerful jaws. In the below clip, the alligator has the Burmese python trapped in a cage-like grip … or so we think.

3. Don’t Look an Elephant in the Eye
A buffalo in the below clip was seriously eyeballing a young elephant. The elephant was not keen on the stare down and gave him a swift kick in the ol’ noggin. 

4. The Balance of Power Shifts 
Sir David Attenborough walks us through an elephant herd’s trek to find water in this BBC Earth clip. On the way, the herd comes upon a pack of 30 lions. Escape may not be as easy as a swift kick in this case (the end result is NSFW).

5. A Race for Life
A cheetah gets low in the grass as he sneaks up on an unsuspecting antelope (the ending is NSFW).

6. Bears Can be Moody
This bear is miffed, possibly someone poked him while sleeping, and he takes it out on the first guy he sees, a cougar. It seems like a fair fight, they both have claws and razor-like fangs, so either can take the win.

7. Length Does Matter 
On the other hand, these little buggers didn’t have a fighting chance against the chameleon with his far-reaching tongue, as seen via BBC Earth.

8. Power in Numbers
A flock of snow geese turns into a “wall of birds” when two bald eagles dive into their picnic spot. 

9. Spider Wasp Antagonizes Tarantula 
You would think this spider wasp would just fly away when seeing the tarantula, being the smaller of the two, but the Pomplidae (scientific name) keeps coming back for more.

10. Baby Rhino Defends Mum
An adult male rhinoceros attacks a female rhino on land, making their way into nearby water. Her baby is having none of it, and the young calf splashes and scares the aggressive bull. The offspring doesn’t leave it at that, chasing the elder off.

11. Eels Come in XXL 
When you hear a shark is involved in a brawl you may automatically think the shark will ultimately win based on its ferociousness, no matter who his sea-dwelling foe is. Well, before placing any bets, you may want to check out the size of this eel.

12. It Takes a Village to Raise a Baby Buffalo
A baby buffalo is taken down by a lioness and her cubs. The baby’s fellow buffaloes are not happy and do not let the young lions off easy. If that weren’t epic enough, a crocodile wants a go at the baby buffalo, too.

The above videos illustrate how surprising and magnificent animals can be in the wild, on the other hand, check out this image of a Great Horned Owl, a bird of prey, showing gratitude to her rescuer:

Are you a natural history buff?

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By Brigid Brown