|Death of a Dynasty|
Spirits of the Ice Forest
The Ballad of Big Al
Death of a Dynasty is the sixth and final episode of Walking with Dinosaurs, following the story of a female Tyrannosaurus rex and her young just before the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs (along with the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, ammonites and other species of animals and plants).
Summary[edit | edit source]
This episode starts several months before the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. According to the companion book of the TV series, the late Cretaceous forests were shrinking and the Pierre Seaway between Laramidia and Appalachia was slowly drying up from the north southwards. This caused avalanches and volcanic eruptions, which further deteriorate the living conditions, and destroy further the dinosaurs habitat. The mammals (exemplified by the Didelphodon) are thriving, however, sometimes at the dinosaurs expense.
Full synopsis[edit | edit source]
The main focus of this episode is on a female Tyrannosaurus rex, who abandons her initial nest because all the eggs in it were still-born. This plight of hers is a metaphoric stand-in for the whole dinosaur extinction, for their 'dynasty' dies-out alongside hers. (Another symbol of the death is the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus, which is the last of his kind and after its disappearance, the skies will belong only to the birds.
The female T. rex mates and nests again, lays 12 eggs, of which 3 hatch. One of the babies disappears, most likely eaten by the other two. The mother is wounded by a blow from an Ankylosaurus' tail-club and dies later of internal injuries and a broken femur. Her babies die when the non-avian dinosaurs become extinct by the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which, in the series is caused by a gigantic meteor that collides with earth in the Gulf of Mexico. The episode ends in a time-progression sequence (that mirrors the one in the first episode) that culminates in live-action shots of modern animals - and birds that are the last branch of the dinosaur family. As the birds fly off, we hear a Tyrannosaurus' roar for the last time.
Creatures[edit | edit source]
65 Million Years Ago (Montana, USA)[edit | edit source]
- Tyrannosaurus rex
- Dromaeosaurus (identified as a dromaeosaur)
- Triceratops (carcass)
- Deinosuchus (identified as a crocodile, revealed on website, book and encyclopedia)
- Dinilysia (identified as snake, revealed in website)
- Purgatorius (unidentified, carcass seen only)
Today (Africa)[edit | edit source]
- African elephant
- African lion
- Cattle egret
- Lizard (mentioned)
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This is the last episode of WWD.
- This episode inaccurately depicts Dinilysia and Dromaeosaurus living at the same time as the other species (Dinilysia lived 20 million years prior, while Dromaeosaurus died out 74.8 million years ago, which was before the depicted events).
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Broadcast[edit | edit source]
Original airdate[edit | edit source]
- 8 November 1999 20.30 BBC One
Repeats[edit | edit source]
- 9 November 1999 18.30 BBC Choice
- 13 November 1999 20.00 BBC Choice
- 14 November 1999 16.25 BBC One
- 14 November 1999 19.30 BBC Choice
- 4 December 1999 BBC Knowledge
- 2 September 2000 17.55 BBC One
- 5 February 2003 19.30 BBC Four
- 23 March 2004 0.55 BBC One
- 28 October 2006 20.00 BBC Three