Walking With Wikis

Death of a Dynasty
General information
SeriesWalking with Dinosaurs
Episode number6
Featured creaturesTyrannosaurus rex
Broadcast information
Original airdate8 November 1999
Chronological information
Previous episode
Spirits of the Ice Forest
Following episode
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).

Full synopsis

Several months before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, the last dinosaurs are living under intense environmental stress due to excessive volcanism. A female Tyrannosaurus abandons her nest, the eggs rendered infertile due to poisonous volcanic gases. Her calls for a mate are answered by a smaller male, who kills a young Triceratops to appease her. Three days later, after repeated copulation, she drives him off. The mother fasts as she tends to her nest, contending with raids by Dromaeosaurus and Didelphodon. Meanwhile, herds of Anatotitan wander between islands of vegetation among the volcanic ash, and Torosaurus rut for the right to mate, while losing their young to attacking dromaeosaurs. Only three of the Tyrannosaurus eggs hatch; the mother hunts an Anatotitan to feed herself and her brood. Several days later, while defending her two surviving offspring, the mother is fatally injured by the tail of an Ankylosaurus. The juveniles remain expectantly next to the carcass of their mother the next morning; several hours later, they are killed along with the other dinosaurs in the region by the impact of a comet in the Gulf of Mexico. The impact, said to be as powerful as ten billion Hiroshima bombs, resulted in 65% of life -the dinosaurs included- dying out in the ensuing cataclysmic climate changes. In an epilogue, the present-day African plains are shown; while they are now dominated by mammals after the extinction, they are still populated by numerous surviving dinosaurs: the birds. After this episode's end credits, the Tyrannosaurs roar is heard one more time.


65 Million Years Ago (Montana, USA)

Today (Africa)

Alternate Versions

  • In a rerelease, several scenes are either cut or rearranged:
    • The opening scene is shortened.
    • The introduction to the new broadleaf forests and flowers is cut, along with the following scene that shows the dromaeosaur's failed hunt.
    • The Quetzalcoatlus and crocodile scenes are cut.
    • The scene where the Anatotitan migrate across the ash fields is cut.
    • The dromaeosaur's failed attempt to raid the Tyrannosaurus's nest is cut.
    • The scene where Anatotitan graze at a swamp is shortened.
  • In the UK dub, the episode takes place in Montana. In the US dub, it takes place in Idaho.
  • In the US dub, the ornithopods are erroneously identified as Hypsilophodon.


  • This is the last episode of Walking with Dinosaurs.
  • The shot of the Quetzalcoatlus flying is reused in a rerelease of Giant of the Skies.




Cretaceous Period




Original airdate

  • 8 November 1999 20.30 BBC One


  • 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