Paleonet: Animal Planet series going into production

Norman MacLeod N.MacLeod at
Tue Jun 17 06:31:06 GMT 2008

I agree there are issues regarding use of the listserver to support what
many would regard as a commercial product. There have been complaints about
such use in the past and I've tried to be diligent in asking those wishing
to past messages to respect PaleoNet's non-commercial nature. As with most
things, it's not so much what is said and/or asked, but the way it's said
and/or asked. I suggest we try to keep traffic on this topic to discussions
of paleontological issues the program raises, not discussions of
options/decisions the programme makers might take in developing the films.
That's a service they should pay a qualified paleontologist for.


Norm MacLeod

On 16/6/08 18:41, "Paula M Mikkelsen" <pmm37 at> wrote:

> In my opinion, this is an appropriate, if not perfect, use of Paleonet. The
> more expert input, the better!
> Paula Mikkelsen
> On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 4:21 PM, <argo at> wrote:
>> Hello community,
>> For better and surely worse I have been asked to coordinate scientific
>> background for an 8 our series on life through time for the Animal Planet
>> network.  The network would like the most accurate representations of
>> critical episodes in Earth History, and would like to be as accurate as
>> possible in portraying not only the central animal characters (to be done in
>> state of art animation along the lines of Pixar technology) but especially in
>> the backgrounds: the reefs, seabottoms, shorelines, lakes, rivers, forests
>> and other landscapes of these intervals: Late Ordovician, Late Devonian, Late
>> Permian, Late Triassic, Late Jurassic, Late Cretaceous, Paleocene/Eocene, and
>> Late Pleistocene (and as you will surmise, mass extinction is a central theme
>> here).  With this e mail I am simply asking the community if it is
>> appropriate for me to go to the community through paleonet for general
>> questions as
>> they come up.  For example, here are a couple that have us stumped as we work
>> through the first hour, the Ordovician mass extinction: would there be
>> gorgonians on Ordovician Reefs?  What would vegetation on the bottom of an
>> Ordovician lake look like?  Would Ordovician nautiloids have epizoans - and
>> how many tentacles would they have?
>> If I may continue, from time to time such questions will arise, and in each
>> case the answerer will be credited at the end of the program if it is so
>> wished.
>> I used to write books. I am now convinced that increasing awareness about the
>> our field can only come through intelligent television programming.  In that
>> spirit, I have agreed to work on this.  Plus, this series could stand as a
>> useful lesson in evolution.  In each episode, the central character will be
>> on direct lineage toward humanity, as best as we can tell (Tiktallik,
>> Thrinaxodon, etc).  And the pay is great!  (0)
>> Thanks for your patience, community, and pardon if this seems like spam, or
>> an inappropriate use of Paleonet.
>> Professor Peter D Ward
>> Dept of Biology
>> The University of Washington
>> Seattle, 98195
>> 206-543-2962  ( Office )
>> _______________________________________________
>> Paleonet mailing list
>> Paleonet at


Prof. Norman MacLeod
Keeper of Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

(0)207 942-5204/5295 (Office)
(0)207 942-5546 (Fax) (Web Page)


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