Tag Archives: Extinction

Clovis hunting an African elephant

One of the advantages of having entered academia after the internet revolution is that the majority of my library is virtual. My laptop PDF paper collection is currently at 6,554 items (and there are another 1,500 or so waiting to … Continue reading

Posted in Clovis hunters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The last squawk of the dodo

Extinction isn’t preordained. Species have no idea if they will vanish from the face of the Earth forever. Yet they do. An animal’s daily life is a struggle for survival: find the next meal, avoid being eaten. Many individuals die. … Continue reading

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A striped wonder

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to watch this YouTube video. Think about what you are watching. The animal in the grainy film is extinct. When the last member of its species died out, a significant branch of … Continue reading

Posted in Thylacine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Seeking redemption

Extinction, they say, is forever. There’s the distressing aspect of poaching and trophy hunting (can you tell the difference any more? No, me neither) as highlighted by the senseless, savage deaths of rhinos, elephants, lions, tigers and many more creatures. … Continue reading

Posted in Quagga | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Yesterday’s Camel

Camels are weird. I think we like them because their curmudgeonly reputation reminds us of someone we know (or ourselves!). Easy to recognise and totally unlike any other mammal, the “ship of the desert” is always included in Noah’s ark … Continue reading

Posted in Camelops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Overkill

“But how could they have killed them all with just pointy sticks?” This question, or a variation thereof, has been asked of me, seemingly whenever I bring up the concept of overkill as the likely cause of Pleistocene megafaunal extinction. … Continue reading

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When is an aardvark not an aardvark? When it’s from Madgascar!

I think about extinction a lot. Its hard not to when researching Pleistocene mammals. One of the sobering things about this kind of research is that you become aware of the high likelihood of “unknown unknowns”: animals that existed but … Continue reading

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The most lonely places

“Vouronpatra: A large bird which haunts the Ampatres [marshy places] and lays eggs like the ostrich’s; so that the people of these places may not take it, it seeks the most lonely places.”   The beasts of the Pleistocene cause … Continue reading

Posted in Elephant Bird | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The pouched lion

Australia is a land stripped of megafauna. The largest surviving kangaroo is a dwarf compared to the elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and hippos of Africa. Similarly, the largest living carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harisii), is a stunted furball when … Continue reading

Posted in Marsupial Lion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A home on the range

Imagine an igloo. Now picture it with a crash helmet poking out the front, and a medieval spiked club sticking out the back. Elevate that image on four stubby legs, convert it into bone and flesh and you have a … Continue reading

Posted in Glyptodon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments