When Lewis and Clark were setting off on their expedition, amateur paleontologist and Enemy of Freedom Thomas Jefferson asked them to keep their eyes peeled for any extant Megalonyx, the giant ground sloth that once called North America home. They obviously didn’t find any; the Clovis or a comet got there first. But, God, is it fun to imagine if they had…

If I ever tricked a Dino De Laurentiis type into spotting me the cash for a big budget Hollywood film, I’m pitching a period piece where the Lewis and Clark expedition traverses a heartland crawling with megafauna. Toussaint Charbonneau is introduced taking down a mammoth; Charles Floyd is stalked and killed by a Smilodon. This stuff writes itself!

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