Killing for a Living

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Killing for a Living is a nature documentary show that debuted on BBC and Discovery Channel in 1997, and later repeated on Animal Planet. It was produced by Wildvision Production for BBC Worldwide in association with The Discovery Channel. It use to showcase about various predators and the way they capture and kill their victims. The series was narrated by Anthony Hopkins from episode 1-3 and John Shrapnel from episode 4 onwards.[1]


The DVD has been released by BBC in 4 disc set, containing all the 13 episodes.


In much of the animal kingdom, it's kill or be killed on a daily basis, as creatures struggle to survive and a cycle of life and death is an everyday event in the wild. This documentary series chronicles the different yet lethal techniques used in this dance of death, from animals that work in well-organized gangs to lone killers that capture prey using camouflage and the element of surprise.


Episode 1 : Dining Alone[edit]

Lone predators have developed an amazing range of means to survival. The speed of cheetahs, snake venom and the ability of leopard to lie in ambush are examples of refined instincts needed when hunting alone.

Episode 2 : Dressing For Dinner[edit]

Predators use large numbers of clever ways to trick their prey. They include misrepresentation, nets and traps. Players in this game of death are praying mantis, shooter fish, mastophoreae-cross spider and stalking squids.

Episode 3 : Company Of Killers[edit]

Group hunting guarantees catch, and living in community is favourable basis for defense . In this episode we will see the life of plundering lions, hyenas and wild dogs in packs as they hunt, as well as potential preys like bulls, meerkats and puffins as they try to defend against their predators.

Episode 4 : Ocean Peril[edit]

All sea creatures have developed their own ways to kill and to avoid being killed. Beside visual, hearing and smelling sense there are also specific ways for species such as dolphins sonar to find hidden fish, or angel shark's cunning disguise.

Episode 5 : Flight to the Death[edit]

Predatory birds are the most powerful and skilled beasts in the sky. Each species has its own way to obtain meals. Curved beak, claws to kill and a great vision are only part of their arsenal of deadly weapons.

Episode 6 : The Killing Queen[edit]

Lion is arguably the most important predator in the African savannah. But among them the female lion is the one who works as a killing machine. Female lions namely will do most of the hunting, and beside their herd the hyenas, wild dogs and vultures enjoy the results also.

Episode 7 : Rivers of Life Rivers of Death[edit]

The river is a focal point of life. But there where is life is also dying, and beneath the river surface the battle between preys and predators continues. The episode follows the North American otters and bears hunting for salmon below the melting ice, and shows how the red piranha gets wild at carcass.

Episode 8 : Hunters Of The Underworld[edit]

Poisonous scorpions, spiders with big claws, myriapods, and armored insects are just some of the crawling creatures that stalk prey in the shadows.

Episode 9 : Killers Of The Dark[edit]

Nocturnal creatures are having an arms race. Their weapons are not offensive or defensive, but an espionage equipment. Some use night vision and take full advantage of the moon and the stars in low light, while others use a fine-tuned smell and touch senses. There are animals whose ears are more sensitive than any microphone and the creatures who observe their surroundings with three-dimensional sonars or electro-magnetic sensors. Some even produce light: a trap that attracts their prey to death.

Episode 10 : Sharks! Sharks![edit]

The episode shows the lives of sharks both as predators and prey. Amount of shark species is enormous, and they are amazingly different in shapes, sizes, and each species of sharks have their own way to live and work. From the lethal great white shark and tiger sharks, to the colossal whale shark, the show looks at sharks as skillful predator and keen opportunist as well exposes the secrets of these predators.

Episode 11 : Murder in the Family[edit]

The episode focuses on animals that kill representatives of their own species. As an animal grows, the ruthless battle continues: food, power, possibility to copulate. Any of these fights may end in death. The circle is rotated back: male may kill their partners offspring to get mating. But not all the animals are violent. At the end of the program we visit communities which instead killing their own species rather live in perfect harmony, where males and females, adults and offspring, brothers and sisters work together.

Episode 12 : Cold-Blooded Killers[edit]

Tyrannosaurus rex, "Terrible Lizard King", lives in imagination as the greatest beast to have walked on Earth's surface. Existing animals have ancestors who passed the same terrain with this monstrous predator, and many of them have fared well and are equally adept predators as the carnivore dinosaurs. This detective story traces the closest surviving offspring of this remarkable beast.

Episode 13 : People as Prey[edit]

People who live close to wild animals sometimes face a sudden and violent death. The chance to die at wild animals jaws is very small, but it does little to comfort the victims. This film examines this serious matter lightly, and it raises some very difficult questions. The program is like a trial, where the animal kingdom is being investigated by people, and where several killers can present a defense speech.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Killing for a Living". MSN. Retrieved January 28, 2010.