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She Hunted the Mammoth

I guess the folks at Ubisoft didn’t get the memo that only dudes hunted mammoths.

(Maybe because it’s not true. It may be that no one did. But a video game about people looting already dead mammoths probably wouldn’t sell many copies.)

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Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

They seem to think they can boost article views by appealing to more right wing gamers.

Well hey, look how well that turned out for Roosh! =P

bekabot
5 years ago

But a video game about people looting already dead mammoths probably wouldn’t sell many copies.

“We gathered the mammoth!!” — No, you’re right, it doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Hedin
Hedin
5 years ago

“WHTM tracks and mocks the New Misogyny online. Also, news about mammoths.”

Moocow
Moocow
5 years ago

@katz

Oh yeah, I get that. And there are plenty I really enjoy like YMS, AVGN, Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick and Honest Trailers. It’s just I find Yahtzee very disingenuous with his criticism and way too quick to dismiss a game for inane flaws. It’s the same criticism I have for The Spoony One or the Irate Gamer and pretty much any gaming channel that resembles this:

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Argenti, as one of you all’s resident biologists, I have to say you didn’t do a half bad job!

Humanity is pretty well known (in the biology field) for messing up population dynamics without even really trying…

One of my favorite science-y publications (Science, published by AAAS) has published numerous articles on mammoth extinction, because we find it pretty fascinating. Some of the schools of thought:

1) Global warming cycles changed habitat, dooming mammoths
2) The extinction of mammoths caused global warming! (No, really!) How they went extinct… maybe people?
3) Domesticating dogs helped us murder all the mammoths!
4) We didn’t hunt them, we just burned down all their food while trying to hunt other critters, thus driving them to extinction.
5) We just flat out hunted the mammoth (also called the Overkill hypothesis).
6) Um… maybe all the reasons?

skybison
skybison
5 years ago

@SFHC

The problem is that the mammoths had survived previous climate changes just as bad without going extinct. If anything the lose of the Mammoth steppe is believed to be caused by the lack of not mammoths to fertilize it.

Plus it wasn’t just the mammoths: the giant marsupials, reptiles and ground birds of Australia died out 50k years ago, at exactly the same time humans arrived and when the climate wasn’t changing. Then the mammoths and whooly rhinos and cave bears/lions/hyena and neanderthals in europe and northern asia, again at the same time humans show up. Then the big Mammoths, saber toothed cats, giant sloths, bear sized beavers, birds of prey with 14 foot wingsans etc in the Americas 10k years ago, the elephant birds and gorilla sized lemurs of Madagascar 2k years ago and Moas and giant eagles of New Zealand 1000 years ago. Every time humans arrived in a new environment all the local big animals suddenly died out, and these extinction events only happened when humans showed up.

DodoHunter
DodoHunter
5 years ago

On the topic a little ways up, it’s better to like something problematic. When you can recognize why it’s so problematic, it’s easier to separate that from the show.

History Nerd
5 years ago

@SFHC I think they’re desperate to find a way to make money.

DodoHunter
DodoHunter
5 years ago

That period’s place was the opposite of well chosen.

CCD
CCD
5 years ago

This looks good, just as long as the protagonist isn’t white, like the upcoming Horizon Zero Dawn (At least the protagonist is a woman, but she’s a white woman with a tribe and her outfit appropriates heavily from Native American garb).

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Skybison, just because they went extinct when we showed up doesn’t mean they went extinct because we hunted them. We certainly could have had a role, but we definitely can drive things to extinction by other methods!

For instance, we’ve only really found evidence that humans hunted the mammoths and mastadons (of North American megafauna in particular). Also, Africa still has megafauna, despite humans being around there the absolute longest!

Okay, yeah, we’re currently wiping out rhinos and elephants (because we’re jerks), but they survived the last few thousands of years…

I’m inclined to believe the extinction was caused by multiple anthropogenic factors: some hunting combined with habitat modifications. I also totally believe that a warm spell would have put stress on the populations, so that would still be a factor.

It’s possible that mammoths could have survived with just one of the stressors (humans or a warm spell) but as soon as the two happened concurrently, bad things happened.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ skybison

That’s also my theory about Mrs Marple.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

It turned out quite badly for The Escapist, it seems. Zen of Design has some things on their bad fortunes:

http://www.zenofdesign.com/whats-going-on-with-the-escapist/

History Nerd
5 years ago

Oh yes! The Escapist is desperate.

skybison
skybison
5 years ago

@contrapangloss

Oh I agree, hunting probably was just part of it, and not necessarily even the biggest part, I’m just saying the pattern repeats too many times for humans not to be the main cause of the extinctions. African megafauna probably survived because they evolved alongside humans and had time to adjust, the Moas, Mastodons and giant carnivorous Kangaroos meanwhile had never met anything like us before.

contrapangloss
5 years ago

One of the things I love about this place: all the peoples to geek out with.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I would have to guess that a large mammal like a mammoth wouldn’t be able to breed very prolifically. So if there are habitat changes or climate changes having a negative impact on the population, replenishing would be more difficult. Is that correct? Is anything known about the mating and gestation of mammoths? I’m just making guesses based on the fact that currently living large species tend not to be reproductively prolific.

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Well we don’t know about gestation, however we do know that weaning likely occurred at 5-6 years of age for baby mammoths! Guestimate made by seeing isotope changes in bone deposits from diet changes.

Citation for all you science folks!

Rountrey, A., D. Fisher, S. Vartanyan, D. Fox, 2006. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of a juvenile woolly mammoth tusk: evidence of weaning. World of Elephants 2 – Selected papers from the 2nd Congress, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. Quaternary International 169-170. pp.166-173.

guy
guy
5 years ago

It’s notable that most of our remaining megafauna is in africa, where it got to evolve concurrently with early human development, while everywhere else had mass extinctions when later humans showed up with relatively sophisticated stone tools and weapons in quantity.

Driving herds of herbivores off cliffs is a known hunting method in the American Midwest and a reasonable candidate for going after adult mammoths. It’s also possible no one ever did figure out a way to hunt healthy adult mammoths and we took a cue from our fellow predators and went after the young and weak while the herd was distracted at a watering hole.

CriticalDragon1177
CriticalDragon1177
5 years ago

David Futrelle,

Off course your typical MRA wouldn’t have what it would take to actually hunt a mammoth. They would just making a tasty meal for a Saber Toothed Tiger!

raysa
raysa
5 years ago

I played boom beach for about 10 minutes, long enough to figure out that I suck at it.

I switched to paradise bay, and I am really good at it. I mean, if I got paid for it, I would be RICH!! But then I think that maybe a barely intelligent monkey could actually be that good, too, and then I am not as impressed with myself.

That is the total extent of my game knowledge. I try, but so much of it seems so complex. You guys sound so smart when discussing it, and all I can do is nod.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Contrapangloss — cool, my fishy knowledge applies! And my autocorrect has FINALLY learned your nym 🙂

That is really nifty about the weaning time of mammoths, any idea if they (or elephants as an analogy?) are capable of having another kid while lactating? It’s a reasonable good method of family planning for humans, but our ovulation cycle is weird to start with so I have no idea in other mammals. Cuz if they’re like elephants that’d be one offspring every five years yeah? Damned easy to wipe that out if we hunted the (easier to kill) young.

W
W
5 years ago

@sfhc
(… Am I the only one who finds it fucking hilarious that, for all the MRAs’ screams of FEMINAZIS CAN’T BRAIN, we have everything from lawyers to marine biologists to psychologists to palaeontologists here?)

sure, but I guess I would say I expected that more than anything. For what it’s worth, my experience in an anthropology/archaeology program was that there were actually more women than men, which I found to be a pretty great thing as a man (and no, not just in that way 😛 ). Unfortunately, a small number of the men I found myself working with in labs and in the field probably identified with some of these MRA chucklefucks…aaaannnd one of them in particular didn’t believe in human evolution, climate change, or the moon landing. Now THAT is hilarious! 🙂

(yea, a graduate student anthropologist who didn’t believe in human evolution, try wrapping your mind around that one. We’ve got a brilliant thinker there, let me tell you)

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@W:
I once spent some time with a young lady who, despite doing her PhD in biology at the time, didn’t believe humans evolved from monocellular life. When I asked her about it, she demurred and said that “oh, we have no idea where we came from, just theories.”

When people say this it’s usually because they’re coy about their real beliefs, so I didn’t press the matter. I have no idea whether she was a nihilist, a fundamentalist, a believer in panspermia, or something still weirder.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

graduate student anthropologist who didn’t believe in human evolution, try wrapping your mind around that one. We’ve got a brilliant thinker there, let me tell you

http://www.reactionface.info/sites/default/files/imagecache/Node_Page/images/1351711742693.gif

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

I found that I drifted away from Zero Punctuation a few months ago, though I had somehow missed the GG and transphobic foofaraw. For me, the problem was that Yahtzee had gotten a long string of relentlessly mediocre games that weren’t really good joke fodder, so he ends up going through the motions. He needs another “Clive Barker’s ‘Clive Barker’s
Jericho’ by Clive Barker” or equivalent to really sink his teeth into.

History Nerd
5 years ago

I think the purpose of the “evolution is only a theory” talking point is so creationist graduate students can pretend to themselves that evolution is true hypothetically for research purposes. That lets someone write an acceptable dissertation and graduate with a PhD. But things would get a lot more interesting if that person then got a tenure track position.

Most people who go into science academia decide that evolution is compatible with their personal beliefs unless they’re under immense pressure from family.

Kreator
Kreator
5 years ago

On the topic of mammoth extinction, let’s not forget that some populations of wooly mammoths survived in isolated islands and didn’t fully become extinct until only ~4000 years ago (the pyramids were being built at the time!). And they disappeared when…? Quoth Wikipedia:

The Wrangel Island mammoths were isolated for 5000 years, and due to the small population present when the island was isolated by rising post-ice-age sea level, about 300 to 1000 individuals, experienced a 20% to 30% loss of heterozygosity, and a 65% loss in mitochondrial DNA diversity. However, the population seems to have subsequently been stable, without suffering further significant loss of genetic diversity. Genetic evidence thus implies the extinction of this final population was sudden, rather than the culmination of a gradual decline; the disappearance coincides roughly in time with the first evidence for humans on the island

Granted, there’s no actual evidence that they were hunted, but still there’s quite a strong correlation here.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@W

Sounds like my high school chemistry teacher. Dude was a hardcore creationist. The two “High points” of suffering through his failure were getting a week of detention for correcting his spelling (he always spelled “Metal” as “Mettel”) and our 12th grade exam, which turned out to be a multiple choice thing where every question was “What causes [random chemical reaction]? 1. God. 2. Jesus. 3. Satan.”

I’m not kidding.

Bonus: After I graduated, he left teaching for med school. He’s a doctor now.

Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
5 years ago

The use of the word “Theory” in science is frequently confusing for lay people. But I’m shaking my head at the Ph.D candidate in Biology. She should know that Theory with a capital T means the evidence backing up that idea is solid and verifiable, and objectively true. After all, Gravity is also a Theory.

Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
5 years ago

(I forgot to add, I absolutely adore Beyond Good and Evil, one of my favorite games on the PS2.)

W
W
5 years ago

well, I’d argue with you on the point of ‘objectively true’ from a philosophical perspective. After all, the strength of science lies in the admission of human fallibility, as opposed to dogmatic thinking which is where most people who deny evolutionary theory are coming from

you know, this little discussion did get me thinking: is there any work out there by neurologists/psychologists/etc investigating possible links between people who espouse the ideologies of MRAs and, uh, ‘impaired cognition’? There would be very real issues regarding statistical sampling and participant biases that would need to be fully considered but if not, it might be interesting work for anyone so inclined.

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Argenti, we don’t have any perfect evidence to say they absolutely can’t have babies until the older sib is done weaning, but we think they’re elephant-like in that regard.

And, yeah, only being able to have 1 baby every 5-6 years makes it really hard for a population to recover from the loss of juveniles.

🙁

It’s hard to say for sure on behavioral things for extinct animals, though, so they could have differed! Maybe…

I’m betting they didn’t.

Mizuki
Mizuki
5 years ago

I go in stages with Yahtzee. I would get in the mood for some quick fire rants and would watch a bunch of his stuff until I got offended. Then I would not watch him again until I got that urge again. It is like my horrible urge to read Youtube comments. I know it is terrible but I keep doing it.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
5 years ago

Damn you all, now I’m hungry. And I’ve got no mammoth steaks in the house either! I should have stocked up when they were on sale at Costco, while I was there picking up the “Enough toilet paper to last through one of those Biblical floods a-la-Noah”-sized packages and the 50 gallon drum of Windex. I have a lot of windows. 😉

tcwill00
tcwill00
5 years ago

It’s not like all the North American megafauna are gone. There’s moose and bears, still, although not the largest bears (and a Kodiak is quite large enough, thank you!).

Just most of them.

John Strycharz
5 years ago

I don’t have the game, but it looks like you can hunt mammoths (while riding tamed dinosaurs) with modern weapons in ARK: Survival Evolved.

megpie71
5 years ago

msexceptiontotherule – Does that make you the archetypical person living in a glass house, then?

epitome of incomprehensibility

Re evolution and megafauna: this reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago.

I was telling him about my bizarre childhood education, specifically how in sixth grade I’d gone to a small Christian school that used the “School of Tomorrow” curriculum (just imagine an avant-garde learn-at-your-own pace teaching system coupled with old-school Americana and evangelical creationism. And the King James Bible. A lot of King James Bible. Not even the NIV or something.)

Anyway, I told him that the whole “Earth being 6,000 years old” thing was strange to me “because I’d grown up with dinosaurs.”

Yup, I said it like that! We both had a laugh at the image.

skybison
skybison
5 years ago

Off topic but I need to vent about this: I’m watching the daily show, and I need to ask How can Ben Carson be a brain surgeon and be so goddamn stupid? “Why didn’t the victims of the shooting rush the gunman?” Please tell me this sinks his presidential campaign.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

contrapangloss — yeah I pretty much think of them as hairy elephants with bigger tusks, which is probably not quite fair to either species, but I do better with analogies. In less depressing things, the Pittsburgh zoo had/has a walk through “oliphant” exhibit, it’s about elephants but come on, we all get the joke. Granted, the walk through deer, this one with animals not just history facts, will always be my favorite after they decided my brother was a really delicious salt lick!

Bryce
Bryce
5 years ago

Another AAA sandbox/open-world title. Thank the heavens for Kickstarter.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

you know, this little discussion did get me thinking: is there any work out there by neurologists/psychologists/etc investigating possible links between people who espouse the ideologies of MRAs and, uh, ‘impaired cognition’?

If you mean mentally ill or mentally disabled – hell no. They’re just a bunch of angry, hateful, willfully ignorant mega-assholes.

Merus
Merus
5 years ago

I am not surprised that Ubisoft are showing women hunting mammoths, because they’ve spent the better part of two years being slammed for sidelining women in favour of more ‘marketable’ stubbled white dudes. The Far Cry team definitely got a serve of it; presumably they thought that a character based on Anita Sarkeesian meant that they had done enough.

What’s funny is that game journalists have been complaining about this for years, but it’s only very recently that the market’s been worried enough to listen. It’s deeply ironic that Gamergate blames ‘SJWs’ for changes that the almighty dollar’s forcing on the industry.

Merus
Merus
5 years ago

you know, this little discussion did get me thinking: is there any work out there by neurologists/psychologists/etc investigating possible links between people who espouse the ideologies of MRAs and, uh, ‘impaired cognition’?

It’s unlikely, mostly because I think the sociologists have a much more convincing explanation. A subculture that’s established with a clear in-group and out-group, with its own ideologies, can be remarkably resistant to persuasion.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

If you like watching Let’s Play’s with no racism/misogyny/GGer crap, Many A True Nerd is my FAVE. His Fallout runs are what he’s most known for, but he plays lots of indie games and old stuff as well, and his commentary is hilarious. He’s got a great LP of Deadly Premonition (a so bad it’s good game based a lot on Twin Peaks)

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
5 years ago

@megpie71

No, just a house with lots of windows and a few mirrors. It’s far too much exposure to live in the proverbial ‘glass house’ interpreted literally, and if proverbially it’s a sort of behavior I try to avoid with varying success. 😉

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

“Impaired cognition”? I’m unsure how that is defined, but if it includes the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Also, the “just a theory” canard derives from the habit of taking dictionary definitions as definitive and prescriptive, quite common among cranks. I think Numbers, “The Creationists” describes such an episode.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

That should have been: “… if it includes the Dunning-Kruger effect, MRAs are a textbook example.”

W
W
5 years ago

yeah, y’all are right I’m sure. I guess it is a little easier to believe that there might really be something wrong (like, physiologically wrong) with such people rather than just being angry, manipulative, hate-fueled dipshits with an internet connection. That kind of thing is what is slowly eroding my hope for the human species