Africa is the mother continent - the core from which all the other continents were torn away 270 million years ago. Since then, three factors have had profound consequences on its wildlife. This mighty block of land has stayed in much the same place, it stands alone and it straddles the equator. It's also been protected from crippling ice ages and destructive invasions as well as nurtured by gentle changes in climate and geology.
As a result, animals and plants have flourished here more successfully than on any other continent. This is Africa - rich, diverse and fascinating - and at the heart of the world.
Time is the key to this series. Influenced by climate and geology, time has allowed Africa to accumulate the breathtaking variety of wildlife we see today. The series covers jungle, coasts, mountains, deserts, savannahs, and rivers and lakes as the topic of each episode.
Runtime: 50 minutes
Wild Africa - African wild dog - Netflix
The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as African hunting dog, African painted dog, painted hunting dog, or painted wolf, is a canid native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest of its family in Africa, and the only extant member of the genus Lycaon, which is distinguished from Canis by its fewer toes and its dentition, which is highly specialised for a hypercarnivorous diet. It is classified as endangered by the IUCN, as it has disappeared from much of its original range. The current population has been estimated at roughly 39 subpopulations containing 6,600 adults, only 1,400 of which are fully grown. The decline of these populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks. The African wild dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. Uniquely among social carnivores, it is the females rather than the males that scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature, and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses. The species is a specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes, which it catches by chasing them to exhaustion. Like other canids, it regurgitates food for its young, but this action is also extended to adults, to the point of being the bedrock of African wild dog social life. It has few natural predators, though lions are a major source of mortality, and spotted hyenas are frequent kleptoparasites. Although not as prominent in African folklore or culture as other African carnivores, it has been respected in several hunter-gatherer societies, particularly those of the predynastic Egyptians and the San people.
Wild Africa - East Africa - Netflix
L. pictus's range in East Africa is patchy, having been eradicated in Uganda and much of Kenya. A small population occupies an area encompassing southern Ethiopia, South Sudan, northern Kenya, and probably northern Uganda. The species may still occur in small numbers in southern Somalia, and is almost certainly extinct in Rwanda, Burundi, and Eritrea. Nevertheless, it remains somewhat numerous in southern Tanzania, particularly in the Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park, both of which are occupied by what could be Africa's largest L. pictus population.
Wild Africa - References - Netflix