I just finished Tim Flannery’s Here on Earth.  Overall I think he’s trying to do too much… there’s a lot of interesting information, but he can’t get into any one topic in depth.

But he mentions something I wish I’d known about when writing the Planet Construction Kit: that the distribution of megafauna on Earth is evidence for man’s original continent (that would be Africa).  Humans are very effective hunters of large game, and when introduced into a completely new environment, such as the Americas, they wiped out all the megafauna.

The major exception in Africa, where the local wildlife has been co-evolving with us for millions of years.  As a result, Africa is the one place where you still have megafauna. 

A partial exception is Eurasia, where there’s been at least some hominid presence for a long time; this allowed creatures like horses and elephants to survive. 

I’ve said for a long time that we don’t know what continent the intelligent species of Almea originated on; this little factoid makes that harder to maintain… we should just look at which continent has the megafauna.  I guess I’m going to have to say that the iliu-ktuvok wars disturbed things too much to make it clear, especially without fossil evidence.  We might learn more in a few centuries when Almea can be investigated with modern field methods.