Via Brian Switek at Laelaps, I found this fun commercial:
I think most kids are fascinated by megafauna- whether Mesozoic dinosaurs, Cenezoic mammals and birds (check out the freaking moa! "The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.7 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb)"), or modern examples such as whales, elephants, rhinoceroses or giraffes. I was no exception, and mammoths were particularly fascinating to me... I didn't really grasp geologic time, but I understood that mammoths and man had probably co-existed, and that they had lived in the area where I grew up. I knew they were like elephants, but bigger, and, well, woolly. So while my childhood allegiances were first to dinosaurs, they were always somewhat alien- and remain so, in large part. Mammoths seemed almost familiar by comparison.
The idea of them being part of our native, extant wildlife is very pleasing to me, though I doubt they would do very well being quite so domesticated as the commercial depicts. I also rather doubt that humans would still be extant if we had started eating a McDonald's diet 12,000 years ago.
This Week's Geo-Quiz: Other Planets
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