Sir David Attenborough brings you Dynasties, the new series from BBC Earth.

Follow the true stories of five of the world's most celebrated, yet endangered animals; penguins, chimpanzees, lions, painted wolves and tigers. Each in a heroic struggle against rivals and against the forces of nature, these families fight for their own survival and for the future of their dynasties.

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Five great families

Our planet is changing at an extraordinary rate and the habitats these animals live in are under increasing pressure, not least from the impact of humanity itself.

Travel from the plains of Africa to the jungles of India, from the edge of the Sahara to the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Watch leaders battling rivals for their crown, feuds tearing families apart and parents risking their lives to protect offspring from the coldest and cruelest winter on earth.

Five extraordinary animals in heroic battles against the odds, Dynasties, the most intimate and intense stories of their kind ever told.


Read David's story

  • Scientific name: Pan troglodytes verus 
  • Group: Mammal
  • Family: Hominidae
  • Ancestors: Nyanzapithecus alesi
  • Average size: 1.2-1.7 metres tall
  • Average weight: Male: 40-60kg Female: 32-47kg
  • Average life span: 40-45 years
  • Diet: Fruit, bark, stems, insects.
  • Habitat: Dry and moist lowland tropical forests, savannah woodlands.

Emperor Penguins

Read the story of the Emperor Penguins

  • Scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri 
  • Group: Bird
  • Family: Spheniscidae
  • Ancestors: Waimanu
  • Average size: 1.2 metres tall
  • Average weight: 30-40kg
  • Average life span: 15-20 years
  • Diet: Fish, krill, squid
  • Habitat: Antarctic ice-sheets. Emperor penguins are only found in the Antarctic, which is a harsh climate to live in. Temperatures can reach -50°C and the winds reach speeds of 200km/hr.


Read Charm's story

  • Scientific name: Panthera Leo
  • Group: Mammal
  • Family: Felidae
  • Ancestors: Dormaalocyon latouri
  • Average size: 2.7 metres long and 90 centimetres tall.
  • Average weight: Male: 180kg Female: 130kg
  • Average life span: 14-15 years
  • Diet: Antelope, Buffalo, Warthog, Zebra, young Elephants
  • Habitat: Scrub, grasslands, scrub jungle and rocky hills. Forests aren’t conducive to lions because they don’t support enough prey for lions.

Painted Wolves

Read Blacktip's story

  • Also known as: African Wild Dog or African Hunting Dog
  • Scientific name: Lycaon pictus
  • Group: Mammal
  • Family: Canidae
  • Ancestors: Lycaon Sekowei
  • Average size: 1-1.5 metres tall
  • Average weight: 17.9-35.8kg
  • Average life span: Up to 11 years
  • Diet: Antelope, wildebeest, zebra
  • Habitat: Grasslands, savannahs and open woodlands. While they used to roam across most of sub-Saharan Africa, Painted Wolves now live only in Southern and South Eastern African countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe.


Read Raj's story

  • Scientific name: Panthera Tigris
  • Group: Mammal
  • Family: Felidae
  • Ancestors: Pseudaelurus/Miacoids
  • Average size: 1.5-2.9 metres long, 1.2 metres tall
  • Average weight: 181-306kg
  • Average life span: 10-15 years
  • Diet: Deer, Wild boar, Monkeys, Indian Bison
  • Habitat: Tropical and evergreen forests, woodlands, grasslands, savannahs. Tigers are found in 14 countries, including India, China and Russia.
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