For any of you who haven't heard of The Velvet Claw...SHAME ON YOU! GO WATCH THE EPISODES RIGHT NOW!
It's a very good documentary talking about the evolution and rise of the great carnivorans. It's a really good 90's doc. Don't believe me? Ask Darren Naish.
The blog post sums up the entire Velvet Claw series, but if you want, you can search up the episodes if you want.
Anyway, here ya go. One of the episode remakes I made on the series. I'll put up the others later.
1. The Carnassial Connection
66 million years ago, the mighty non-avian dinosaurs, the greatest hunters to ever walk the Earth, went extinct. In their place, who would take the title as top predator? First, the snakes took the challenge, and grew into 12 meter long giants that could large fish and small crocodilians, but this massive monster would die out shortly after due to climate change. Later, massive birds with deadly beaks and claws evolved to run down their prey, while some metatherian mammals evolved into powerhouse hunters and scavengers. These hunters ruled South America, but while successful, they to would face extinction. The giant killer metatherians would die out around 3 million years ago, while the terror birds would die out around 2 million years ago due to climate change. So in time, they would disappear, but competition as too who would take over the North continued. Running crocodilians evolved to chase down prey. they ruled for some time over the northern hemisphere, but disappeared around the Middle Eocene. Once the running crocs were gone, the placental mammals came into power. The ungulates, a normally herbivorous group, evolved deadly carnivorous forms, such as pig-like omnivores the size of small cows, but were closely related to hippos, and others that were dog-like in build, but they too would die out. They also ha to contend with the hyaenodonts, deadly carnivorous predators that would take over the world for several millions of years. Many grew huge, larger than modern day tigers, while others evolved deadly bone-crushing jaws. Some even evolved saber-teeth. These killers however, would soon die out as well, leaving all of the contenders to the predator's throne extinct, all but one: Miacis. While small, this arboreal hunter would give rise to the deadliest dynasty of killers since the non-avian dinosaurs.