Walking with Prehistoric Beasts 1 Season 2001

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Season 1
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(171) IMDb 7.9/10
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5. Saber Tooth TV-14 CC

For years, South America was separate from the rest of the world. The animals that evolved were unlike those found elsewhere on Earth. South America was characterized by giant "terror birds" like Phorusrhacos, Macrauchenia - a camel-like animal - and herbivores such as the Doedicurus. But 2.5 million years ago, a land bridge connected North and South America and allowed North American predators to invade. Among them was Smilodon, the largest saber-tooth cats ever, and the new top predator.

Runtime:
30 minutes
Original air date:
December 14, 2001

Saber Tooth

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Season 1
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    1. New Dawn For 160 million years dinosaurs have ruled the world, while mammals have lived in their shadow. Then a meteor crashes into the Earth wiping out the dinosaurs. 15 million years on, the world has changed. The sea level has risen and the temperature has reached an all time high. No animal has risen to take the place of the dinosaurs. Birds, reptiles, mammals and insects live together waiting to establish a new order. The film is about a Leptictidium, a highly successful mammal typical of this time.

    TV-Y 30min November 16, 2001
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    2. Whale Killer The mass extinction event that saw the demise of the dinosaurs was almost as devastating in the seas. The oceans were emptied of almost all large animals and carnivorous creatures, leaving them ripe for exploitation by new predators. 30 million years after the dinosaurs, the top of the ocean food chain is now occupied by an early whale: Basilosaurus. As on land, it's the mammals that have replaced the giant reptiles as the ultimate marine predators and none can now match the Basilosaurus.

    TV-14 30min November 23, 2001
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    3. Land of Giants For over 40 million years forests have dominated the world. They have been the cradle of evolution for the mammals, but the world is changing. The forests are punctuated by open plains. With the constraints of living in the forest lifted, evolution has produced the largest land mammal that ever lived. She is an Indricothere and is about to give birth. After carrying her young inside her womb for two years, the moment has come to bring her calf into the world.

    TV-14 30min November 30, 2001
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    4. Next of Kin Ethiopia is a staggering landscape with huge plateaus shaped by tumbling waterfalls and rivers. It is a world of grassy savannahs and broken forests. Ancylotherium are a common sight amongst zebra, wildebeest and gazelles, as are the Deinotherium - a giant type of elephant with inward facing tusks. Among the trees lives the most remarkable species of all. A species of ape has evolved that spends more time on the ground and also shows signs of early humankind. This ape can walk on two legs.

    TV-14 30min December 7, 2001
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    5. Saber Tooth For years, South America was separate from the rest of the world. The animals that evolved were unlike those found elsewhere on Earth. South America was characterized by giant "terror birds" like Phorusrhacos, Macrauchenia - a camel-like animal - and herbivores such as the Doedicurus. But 2.5 million years ago, a land bridge connected North and South America and allowed North American predators to invade. Among them was Smilodon, the largest saber-tooth cats ever, and the new top predator.

    TV-14 30min December 14, 2001
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    6. Mammoth Journey Northern Europe is a scene of grassy plenty, where many animals spend the brief Ice Age summer gorging on vegetation. Among them are the mammoths. This program follows one particular herd. Like all mammoth herds, this one is populated mostly by females - males leave the herd in adolescence. There is a 12 year-old adolescent and a 6 month old calf. The eldest member of the herd is the matriarch. It is she who makes sure they get through the necessary migration safely.

    TV-14 30min December 21, 2001

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Nigel Paterson
Network BBC Earth
Executive Producer Joshua C. Berkley
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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  • "Opinions" 38
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John Jackson on December 11, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
WOW!! This is one of the most amazing documentaries on prehistoric life I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of documentaries on prehistoric life)!
Walking With Prehistoric Beasts starts off 50 million years ago, just a few million years after the extincion of the dinosaurs. In the beginning of the show, the narrator introduces the small mammal called Leptictidium, a swift six foot tall bird called Gastronis, and other beasts. after on, the documentary shows a primitive whale that was 30 tons and four times the length of a great white shark, the planet's largest predatory land mammal (which is interestingly enough related to ungulates like sheep and goats), a two story tall rhino which was the largest land mammal ever on earth, a nasty scavenging hog (one of the most fearsome and ugly creatures in the show), and several other weird, fearsome, and magnificent beasts that once ruled the earth. Later in the documentary, the ice age comes, as well as an amazing and somewhat hairless ape... Man.
I could go on and on talking about this show, but I won't :-). Let me sumarise this amazing five star documentary to you, the reader, in three words: BUY IT NOW!!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By I. Westray on June 13, 2002
Format: DVD
The Walking with Dinosaurs team could probably have contented itself with producing spinoffs for a long time. They made one special -- "Allosaurus" -- which basically seems to be a seventh episode that didn't get included in the earlier series. If they went on producing half-hour dinosaur shows for years, they'd have had me for an audience.
They didn't do that, though. Instead they traded on their success with dinos to make this great series about prehistoric animals after the dinosaurs. One of the producers mentions, in the "making of" documentary on disk two, that they knew they'd have to do the dinosaurs first because those were popular enough to draw money and attention. They seem to have made "Beasts" because they were just plain interested. Thank goodness someone's letting curiosity drive the work, you know?
This series works a lot like "Walking with Dinosaurs" did. There are six episodes, and each one's a storyline involving a particular species of animal and the world in which it lives. There's no "talking head" side to these shows; they're nonstop film of the (animated) animals living in their worlds, without other graphics. Kenneth Branagh narrates them very much like any other animal documentary, only you're seeing reconstructions of extinct animals instead of lions or elephants. The camera work is skilfully made to work like shots from modern nature shows, with a few minor conceits from the cgi animators thrown in for fun.
The "Walking" team really raised the bar for themselves here, though. First, for some reason prehistoric mammals don't knock people out the way dinosaurs do. A couple of years ago a Japanese team announced it was trying to produce a real, live mammoth, but nobody's making movies in which a series of ...
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on January 7, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
and the Woolly Mammoth. But how about the Leptictidium? A tiny early mammal. A tiny meat eater the size of a cat, who has to keep clear of the top predator of her time, the Gastornis, a flightless bird as big as a man and just as hungry!
Or how about the Andrewsarchus, a five meter long wolf-like creature with bone crunching jaws over three feet long and related to the whale. In fact it BECAME the whales!
This is a two DVD set. The first holds six amazing episodes about six different periods of Earth's history, from right after the death of the dinosaurs to just before man starts to rule the planet. The second holds lots of fun extras: interviews, TWO 50 minute long behind-the-scene featurettes, photos, fact files and even storyboards.
Really helps fill in that space between dinosaurs and us. A must for any DVD library!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Betty L. Wilkins on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD
When people think of Earth's past, it is usually the dinosaur age of which they think. They tend to forget the fact that the Earth has a huge history of which that Age was only a small part. This encompasses that portion of history often glossed over in favor of the rise of humans, and the very strange and fascinating creatures that existed even before we arrived and existed with us for a time before going extinct. While we might remember the Wooly Mammoth, the Cave Bear and the Saber-toothed Cat, We don't remember the Hyenadon or the Intelidont, or the Gastornis, the monster bird that ate early horses. This is a trip into a topsy turvey world that is strangely fascinating and fills in that gap between the Dinosaurs-and us.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul on March 31, 2002
Format: DVD
The team that brought you Walking With Dinosaurs brings you look at the world from time not long after the dinosaurs were extinct until just a few thousand years ago. Since I was reasonably familiar with dinosaurs already, this new series was a lot more informative for me.
We see a world where giant birds hunt cat-sized horses, where a pig is the meanest thing on the block, where the ancestor of sheep was a carnivore, where whales had teeth and attitude. We learn that there was really no such animal as a sabre-tooth "tiger," but there a large variety of sabre-tooth cats.
Technically, the team has progressed significantly, as the effects are, on the whole, much more realistic. Given that most of animals have hair now, this is a real accomplishment. There were a few moments when things didn't look real, and they had to do mostly with the early humans (austrailopithicus). These looked a little phony compared to the others, although they looked better on DVD than they did when I first watched this show on the Discovery channel.
Just an aside, was I the only one, when the tribe of pre-humans was driven away from their watering hole, who expected to see a 2001 monolith teaching them how to kill things with bones?
The only downside I found was the fact that there really wasn't enough room to adequately tell the human story, and many stages of human evolution where left out. I kind of wish they had left the humans out altogether and done a third special, "Walking with Early Humans," or something like that.
The narration by Kenneth Branaugh is, as before, superior to the American actor they hired to redub the show for the Discovery Channel, although Stockard Channing was a lot better than Avery Brooks. Why do they feel the need to redo the narration for American television?
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