Wild New World

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Wild New World
Prehistoric America title card
Series title card from US broadcast
Also known as Prehistoric America
Genre Nature documentary
Narrated by Jack Fortune
Composer(s) Barnaby Taylor
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 6
Executive producer(s) Neil Nightingale
Producer(s) Miles Barton
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Natural History Unit
Original channel BBC Two
Picture format 576i (16:9)
Audio format Stereophonic
Original run 3 October 2002 (2002-10-03) – 7 November 2002 (2002-11-07)
Preceded by Wild Africa
Followed by Wild Down Under
Related shows Monsters We Met
External links

Wild New World, also known as Prehistoric America, is a British documentary series about Ice Age America. Like several other BBC programmes, it contains both computer graphics and real life animals. Occasionally, footage of non-American counterparts of the extinct North American beasts (like the American lion and the giant American cheetah) are used in juxtaposition with footage of native American animals, like the pronghorn.

The series forms part of the Natural History Unit's Continents strand. It was preceded by Wild Africa earlier that year and followed a year later by Wild Down Under.

List of episodes[edit]

The program's episodes go through Ice Age North America's climatic zones, from the very northwest (Alaska/Beringia) down to the extreme southeast (Florida).

  • 1. "Land of the Mammoth" talks about Beringia (current state of Alaska and the Canadian territory of Yukon). The episode focuses mainly on the Woolly mammoth and the American lion.
  • 2. "Canyonlands" talks about the modern south-western USA (current state of Nevada). The episode focuses on the Columbian Mammoth, Shasta Ground Sloth and the American sabre-tooth cat, Smilodon.
  • 3. "Ice Age Oasis" talks about the modern south-eastern USA (current state of Florida). The episode focuses on the American Mastodon, the ground sloth Eremotherium, Smilodon, and the American glyptodon, Glyptotherium.
  • 4. "Edge of the Ice" talks about the modern north-western USA (current state of Washington). The episode focuses on the American mastodon and the American scimitar-tooth cat, Homotherium.
  • 5. "American Serengeti" talks about the American Midlands (current state of Colorado). The episode focuses on the mammoth Columbian mammoth, and the Short-Faced Bear.
  • 6. "Mammoths to Manhattan", the sixth episode doesn't go back in time unlike the previous five. Rather, it talks about various modern American animals, from the mustang to the free-tailed bats, and about how they have adapted to the increasing influence of humans in the New World.


The show's episodes offer several common themes, the main one being the coming of humans to America via the Ice Age's land bridge and causing the extinction of the North American megafauna featured in the episodes. Another BBC programme, Monsters We Met picks up and elaborates on this topic in greater detail. A more recent Discovery show, Prehistoric (2009/10 show), also features scenic elements of Prehistoric America, such as the present melting away to reveal the past, as well as creatures already shown by the show, like the American Mastodon, Arctodus and Columbian Mammoth.


Episode 1: Land of the Mammoth (Beringia, 14,000 years ago)[edit]

Episode 2: Canyonlands (northern USA, 14,000 years ago)[edit]

Episode 3: Ice Age Oasis (Florida, 14,000 years ago)[edit]

Episode 4: Edge of the Ice (Northwest, 14,000 years ago)[edit]

Episode 5: American Serengeti (Midwest, 14,000 years ago)[edit]

Episode 6: Mammoths to Manhattan[edit]

Related programs[edit]

Prehistoric America is part of a series of BBC documentaries that also include:

The following are Walking With... series specials:

The following are similar programs, produced by the BBC:

External links[edit]