Michael Barton on the Dinosaur Mailing List has just alerted readers to a film out early next year - 10,000 B.C.. Now you all know I am going to see it. This is precisely the sort of action movie that I enjoy, and also it has mammoths in it. And, as Jade from ANTM said:
Shooting with an elephant reminds me of ancient dinosaurs. Because they are in the dinosaur family.
Well that just clinches it for me. Anyway, I've had a look at the teaser trailer. I think the whole turning-the-lights-off all over the world is a little bit superfluous, but there will inevitably be some slack-jawed yokels wondering why they don't just get guns and shoot the Smilodon so I guess they need to be as explicit as they can.
But the thing that is bothering me, and it's bothering me a lot, is the presence of quite well-designed buildings. The towers appear to be strong constructions, with many storeys, and that just seems to be a millennium or two too early. I seriously am no expert in archaeology, and I rely heavily on articles like Wikipedia, but it does strike me that if the first settlement is known from Jericho, some 500 years after the time of this movie, then sophisticated towers are unlikely to have been kicking around at that point. Although I am sure that, as with the fossil evidence, the archaeological evidence merely shows the latest possible time at which an entity or artefact appeared, 500-1000 years seems a bit of a large gap.
I didn't get much of a look at the animals, as the trailer moves very quickly, but I had a feeling the mammoths in Eurasia pretty much died out around the time of the last Ice Age, which was about 12,000 years ago, if I recall correctly. Mammoths did survive, but only in isolated and island populations. So that bothers me, but as with the buildings issue, it's a niggle rather than something so appalling that I can't bear to watch the movie.
For some reason I can't get the link to the trailer to work on the official site, but Yahoo Movies fortunately has a version. I saw it twice today - once on my office computer which runs IE7, and once on the reception computer which runs IE6. It looks better in IE7.
On the subject of mammoths, I was delighted to see Baby mammoth discovery unveiled on the BBC news website, and even happier to read some soundbites from Dr Larry Agenbroad of the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota. The Mammoth Site was my first real lab experience, and I lived on-site for two months. I was in the first wave of their very successful intern programme, and had an amazing summer. I doubt I would have achieved half of what I've done since 2002 without the opportunities I had at the Mammoth Site. I met Larry two years later at SVP in Denver, and had a lovely long chat to him.
I hope the Mammoth Site have been able to have some scientific input to "10,000 B.C.", or that at least the presence of a big movie about the beasts will encourage more and more visitors to stop off in the Black Hills.