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How historically accurate is the new trailer for Ice Age: Continental Drift?

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We sort of have a soft spot in our hearts for all the Ice Age animals. And the latest addition Ice Age: Continental Drift looks even more ridiculous than the last. Watch as the world breaks apart, separating the furry besties and creating our planet's continents. Plus, giant prehistoric crabs! Ice Age: Continental Drift hits theaters on July 13, 2012.

Resident science writer Robert says:

Ok, so the depiction of Continental Drift's continental drift is obviously dramatized, right? The continents — and the tectonic plates that they're on top of — would have shifted (and continue to shift) much more slowly, but that's forgivable for the sake of storytelling. When it comes to the question of scientific accuracy, you kind of have to choose your battles; I mean, this is a story about talking animals, remember?


But if you're going for the the single biggest "historical" inaccuracy, it's probably the fact that two million years ago, the Earth's continents looked pretty much the same as they do today (in terms of where they're located). This map shows what the Earth likely looked like during what's known as the Neogene geological period, which spanned 23–2.58 million years ago — so a full 500,000 years before this movie even takes place.

This map, by comparison, shows the continents' positions during the Paleogene period, which spans 65–23 mya. As you can see, continents are still very distinct. In other words, by two million years ago, the pangean super continent shown breaking apart in the trailer wouldn't have even existed. Not by a long shot.

But remember: we're splitting hairs over a movie about talking animal friends.