Pygmy Mammoths on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands
narrated, animated movie


This narrated movie was created to accompany the Pygmy Mammoth skeleton display the Channel Islands National Park Visitors' Center in the Ventura harbor. The movie describes how full-sized Columbian mammoths swam to the islands during the last low stand of sea level, then became isolated as the glaciers melted back and sea level rose. They were separated from their mainland predators, so it was no longer an advantage to be so large, and they were confronted by relatively low food supplies and dwindling flatlands*, so it was an advantage to be smaller. Hence, they evolved by natural selection into a half-size species of mammoths.

*Large elephants have a hard time navigating steep slopes, and rising sea levels were flooding the flatlands that surrounded the islands. For this reason, also, natural selection would favor smaller individuals.


To view this 4.8 minute long movie, click anywhere on the images.


Download: Pygmy Mammoths of the Channel Islands, Narrated Movie (145 MB)



This movie was drawn, animated, and compiled in Photoshop, Morph, and FinalCut by John Iwerks, with help from Erich Meyr. Sound was recorded in the U.C.S.B. sound studios. Funding was supplied by the Channel Islands National Park funds and by the Educational Multimedia Visualization Center, U.C.S.B.