Life was apparently no picnic for the Pleistocene epoch’s woolly mammoths. For starters, they had to be super-wary of where they clomped—one careless step and the tar pits would snag you for all eternity (as well as the eventual edification of schoolchildren). And there were always plenty of saber-toothed tigers lurking about, waiting to snatch away your 400-pound babies.
Above all, there was a wily new-ish predator named man, emboldened by his fantastic creation: the atlatl, a crude system for shoulder-launching lethal darts. According to the esteemed Atlatl Bob (née William Robert Perkins), atlatls are what finally put our species atop the food chain, a position from which we’ve never looked back.
So it’s fitting that the atlatl has its fair share of evangelists and admirers in the present day. Check out Atlatl Bob’s video tutorial on the topic, which features the masterful first line: “Humans…need to throw things!” And don’t miss the next atlatl competition in your neighborhood. The championships are in Michigan this year.