Tag Archives: Richard Owen

Darwin’s 18 pence

South American Pleistocene beasts were super weird. They owe their peculiar evolution to events that happened deep within the very bowels of the planet, hundreds of millions of years ago. Almost all the land that we know today was squashed together … Continue reading

Posted in Toxodon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 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

The dragon down under

Not so long ago an enormous lizard dragged it claws through the dried, dead leaves deep in the Australian woodlands. Longer than a black cab, this was the largest lizard (so far discovered) ever to walk on land. Its teeth were around … Continue reading

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Mr Darwin’s lost sloth

Ground sloths are weird. The two-toed and three-toed varieties of memetic fame that we are left with only hint at the absurdity of different genera such as Eremotherium, Megalonyx, and Nothrotheriops: bear-sized to elephant-sized behemoths, covered in shaggy fur, and sporting … Continue reading

Posted in Ground Sloth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments