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Re: Has anyone seen the movie 10,000 BC?
I posted a message to the Vertebrate Paleo
mailing list last March 4 after watching an
advanced screening, so I'm re-posting it here:
I watched a radio station-sponsored screening
last night, so I have a chance to sound off on
what I saw. If you don't want parts of the story spoiled, read no further.
This movie is not meant to be taken as
historically accurate (and as it turns out, it is
not even paleogeographically accurate), so set your expectations accordingly.
The amount of actual screen time given to animals
is not that high?comparable to the dinosaur
screen time on Jurassic Park. Three (possibly
four) fossil species are depicted: Mammuthus
primigenius, Titanis walleri, and Smilodon
(populator?). M. primigenius appears early in the
movie, as a herd traveling through the tundra.
When the ambush starts, they all start running.
Not fast walking where contact with the ground is
maintained at all times, but running with all feet off the ground.
A few phorusrachid birds appear in the middle of
the movie, in a dense thicket populated by
tallgrass and bamboos. I presume they're T.
walleri due to their size and the dating of the
movie, and they are depicted with fully feathered
forelimbs/arms. They're seen climbing up trees
with their beak and feet following the
protagonist, and are able to snap bamboo with
their beaks with ease. Are their talons recurved enough to permit climbing?
A Smilodon is shown caught in a hunter's pit,
with several vultures (Gymnogyps?) feeding on
impaled carcasses, and is freed by the main
character. In a scene reminiscent of the Greek
story of Androcles and the lion, it does not
attack the human but scrabbles its way out of the
pit. Later, when the North American tribal
hunters encounter an African tribal village and
are confronted by the locals, the same Smilodon
shows up, smells the one who freed him, then
leaves without hurting anyone. A Smilodon in
north Africa. Or perhaps north- and eastwards to
Palestine or Arabia, to account for the travels
of the main characters (who apparently tracked
their enemies from North America, across the
Bering land bridge, to Asia and Africa where they finally end up in Egypt).
The construction of the pyramids involved several
mammoths for labor. They appear identical to M.
primigenius except for the sparse body hair. I
don't know if they are in fact M. primigenius
brought all the way to Egypt, or another species
native to the area or surrounding regions. And
again, when the heroes incite a slave riot, the
mammoths break free and cause a stampede, again
running (not walking) down the ramp and crushing humans caught in their path.
And that's it. There are a lot of anthropological
and archaeological questions on this movie as
well (Tibetans in Egypt? At least I assume
they're Tibetans based on my scarce knowledge of
their dress.), but for paleontologists that's
what its serving to the viewing public. A check
at the official website
http://www.10000bcmovie.com/ doesn't show any of
the animals identified with scientific names.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau