(Silver Spring, Md.)— CuriosityStream – the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination from Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks – debuts AGE OF BIG CATS, a visually-dazzling three-part look at today’s seven species of big cats and their ancient ancestors from the early ice ages two million years ago. Lions, tigers, snow leopards, pumas, cheetahs, leopards, and jaguars are widely recognized as some of the most powerful predators on Earth, and much is misunderstood about their rise to the top of the food chain. While it is often believed that these modern big cats evolved from the mighty sabretooths, the truth is that they actually competed with them for survival. Beginning Wednesday, September 19 at 8 PM ET, AGE OF BIG CATS chronicles how these majestic creatures outlasted their deadly counterparts to rise to the top of their ecosystems and achieve a global footprint.
Acclaimed naturalist and filmmaker Martin Dohrn directed the series, serving as storyteller and tour guide to some of the most dangerous and remote locations on the planet - where big cats reign and nature is at its most savage. Armed with super slow-motion and unique night vision equipment, Dohrn and team offer some of the most spectacular 4K images ever captured of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Each of the seven big cat species is closely profiled -- examining their hunting tactics, natural habitats, social orders, and evolutionary journeys.
“At CuriosityStream, we have the great opportunity to work with many extraordinarily gifted filmmakers on landmark natural history projects. AGE OF BIG CATS stands out as a truly compelling blue-chip documentary,” said Clint Stinchcomb, President and CEO of CuriosityStream. “AGE OF BIG CATS combines jaw-dropping visuals and the latest zoological science with riveting storytelling to create a truly memorable event for CuriosityStream.”
AGE OF BIG CATS uses the most contemporary CGI animation to travel back millions of years and illustrate the rugged environments of the Pleistocene Era. Applying the latest scientific information and zoological theory, Dohrn and team bring audiences back to the Ice Ages. At first, sabretooths dominated, but the early big cats developed their advanced hunting skills that enabled them to live alongside the sabretooths. But when new, completely different predators arrived - human hunters - the sabretooths dwindled to extinction, while the big cats survived.
“Modern big cats represent some of the most spectacular creatures of this or any era in our planet’s history, but the sad truth is that these species find themselves at a crossroads and are in danger of disappearing,” said Martin Dohrn. “It is our hope that by telling the story of modern big cats in the most compelling way possible, CuriosityStream can increase the appreciation of these amazing animals and widen the dialogue on their survival. Making this series has helped me realize that it isn't a case of whether we want big cats or not. It turns out, we actually need them.”
Episode 1 – “Origins”
AGE OF BIG CATS begins with a look at the Pleistocene Era when deadly packs of sabretooths ruled. This episode examines the arrival of early snow leopards, cheetahs and jaguars and chronicles their emergence as their innovative hunting techniques and physical advantages enable them to dominate their habitats.
Episode 2 – “World Domination”
As time passes, the era of the sabretooth and many other Pleistocene creatures comes to an end. The biggest big cats ever, the lion and the tiger, become the kings of their respective habitats - but they had to fight for their place. During this episode, viewers will witness their innovations such as night hunting; and observe as these great cats target larger and more challenging prey.
Episode 3 – “Survivors”
The finale examines the multitude of changes the Earth has undergone since the end of the Ice Age through the eyes of the puma and leopard -- from the almost complete disappearance of American wildlife to the rise of man and the industrialized and urban areas of the modern 21st century. Once the unquestioned leaders of their domains, big cats now face numerous threats to their own survival, as their numbers dwindle dramatically.
AGE OF BIG CATS is produced for CuriosityStream by Ammonite Films in partnership with Terra Mater Factual Studios, NHK, CCTV-9 Documentary Channel, and written and directed by Martin Dohrn. You can watch it for free, starting on September 19 at 8 PM ET, with a 7-day free trial at CuriosityStream.com.
Launched by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination where viewers can journey through our world and beyond. Our immersive experiences feature experts from Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough to Veritasium’s Derek Muller, stunning visuals, and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, and lifestyle. With over 1,800 documentary features and series, many in Ultra HD 4K, including exclusive originals, CuriosityStream is available worldwide to watch on TV, desktop, mobile and tablets. Find us on the web and via Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Sprint and Google Chromecast, iOS and Android, as well as Amazon Prime Video Channels, Sling TV, DISH, VRV, Comcast Xfinity on Demand, Cox, Level 3 TV, StarHub, and the Sony, LG, Samsung and VIZIO smart TV platforms.