More than 10,000 years ago spectacularly large mammals roamed the pampas and jungles of South America. This book tells the story of these great beasts during and just after the Pleistocene, the geological epoch marked by the great ice ages. Megafauna describes the history and way of life of these animals, their comings and goings, and what befell them at the beginning of the modern era and the arrival of humans. It places these giants within the context of the other mammals then alive, describing their paleobiology—how they walked; how much they weighed; their diets, behavior, biomechanics; and the interactions among them and with their environment. It also tells the stories of the scientists who contributed to our discovery and knowledge of these transcendent creatures and the environment they inhabited. The episode known as the Great American Biotic Interchange, perhaps the most important of all natural history "experiments," is also an important theme of the book, tracing the biotic events of both North and South America that led to the fauna and the ecosystems discussed in this book.
Extinctions have always occurred and always will, so what is so surprising about the megafauna extinctions? They were caused by humans and were the first of many extinctions that eventually led to the extinction of the Moa, Steller's Sea Cow, the Dodo, Great Auk and countless other species great and small, all attributed to human agency. Therefore, the megafauna were humans’ first great impact on the planet. There is now an increasing realization that the 'blitzkrieg' view of these extinctions may have been wrong. A growing body of evidence and long-term field work is beginning to show that at least Australia's megafauna did not succumb to human agency, not because humans probably did not hunt the odd animal but because the an infinitely more logical reason lies in the climatic conditions of the Quaternary Ice Ages and the affect they had on continental geography, environment, climate and, most importantly, the biogeography of the megafauna. This book presents the evidence of this theory, demonstrating the biogeographic approach to Australia’s megafauna extinction. Written clearly to benefit a diverse level of readers, from those with a passing interest to professionals in the field. Examines future climate change and its effects on the planet by looking at examples buried in the past Presents new evidence from extensive field research
The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth. Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller—including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more—roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone. What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses. Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna—and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.
Kellie Wells is a writer of startling imagination whose "phantasmal stories," Booklist says, "shimmer with a dreamlike vibrancy." God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna, Wells's second collection of short stories and winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction, is populated with the world’s castoffs, cranks, and inveterate oddballs, the deeply aggrieved, the ontologically challenged, the misunderstood mopes that haunt the shadowy wings of the world’s main stage. Here you will find a teacup-sized aerialist who tries to ingest the world’s considerable suffering; a lonely god growing ever lonelier as the Afterlife swells with monkeys and other improbable occupants; a father fluent in the language of the Dead who has difficulty communicating with his living son; and Death himself, a moony adolescent with a tender heart and a lack of ambition. God-haunted and apocalyptic, comic and formally inventive, these stories give lyrical voice to the indomitability of the everyday underdog, and they will continue to resonate long after the last word has been read.
Bad choices, deliberate and otherwise, compose the terrain. The dark side of the human heart is in full nuanced display here. It is nothing short of wonderful to see the anger and self-regard of girls and women fully mounted -Julie Brickman, What Birds Can Only Whisper Schildknecht captivates, moves, and unsettles us, reminding us how people struggle to hold each other close as danger lurks around every corner, and often within our own hearts. -Roy Hoffman, Come Landfall In her impressive debut collection, Flora Schildknecht anatomizes humans (and other animals) with all of the precision, intelligence, intuition, and imagination of a scientist and an artist working in close collaboration. -Robin Lippincott, Blue Territory Reading these stories is like stepping among the strange, beautiful, forgiving shadows found under great, old trees--a sense of our aloneness as human inhabitants on this planet against the backdrop of an ancient desire to connect and belong. -Eleanor Morse, White Dog Fell from the Sky Wayward, devastating, and lyrical, these narratives walk the line between animal and human, bringing us to the precipice of the moral universe and sometimes beyond, as they test what it means to be alive in the twenty-first century. -Elaine Neil Orr, Swimming Between Worlds When the hair on the back of your neck begins to tighten, relax, relish the work; this writer has you safely in hand. -Lucinda Dixon Sullivan, It Was the Goodness of the Place
Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller--including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more--roamed the earth. These great beasts, or "megafauna," lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna--and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 127. Chapters: Killer whale, Thylacine, Diprotodon, Emu, Dingo, Great white shark, Dugong, Brolga, Human, Fin whale, Minke whale, Western Grey Kangaroo, Sei whale, Australian megafauna, Saltwater crocodile, Crabeater seal, Common bottlenose dolphin, Goanna, Red Kangaroo, Marsupial Lion, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Southern Cassowary, Megalania, Tropical bottlenose whale, Giant beaked whale, Sthenurus, Freshwater Crocodile, Common minke whale, Risso's dolphin, Australian snubfin dolphin, Swamp Wallaby, Melon-headed whale, Blainville's beaked whale, Aspidites melanocephalus, Common Wombat, Long-finned pilot whale, Lace monitor, Gray's beaked whale, Sepia apama, Australian Sea Lion, Strap-toothed whale, Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Meiolania, Eastern Wallaroo, Western Long-beaked Echidna, Zygomaturus, Shepherd's beaked whale, Palorchestes, Procoptodon, Toolache Wallaby, Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby, Giant Koala, Doria's Tree-kangaroo, Genyornis, Megalibgwilia, Phascolonus, Woodward's Wallaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Hulitherium, Protemnodon, Nototherium, Zaglossus hacketti, Propleopus, Simosthenurus, Wakaleo alcootaensis, Palorchestidae, Priscileo pitikantensis, Wakaleo vanderleueri, Southern shovelnose ray, Macropus titan, Ganguroo, Euryzygoma, Warendja, Sarcophilus laniarius.
This book is educational and introduces the young reader to Australia's unique megafauna in an entertaining way. It is written as if the animals are presenting themselves to the reader. The book was written at the request of school librarians who purchased my fantasy series for middle readers featuring the megafauna of Australia. They asked for an entertaining book for younger readers with illustrations of the animals. A series of illustrated books will follow featuring two of the animals interacting as they would have in the wild. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, many large and unusual animals lived in Australia. Some lived with the dinosaurs, but many were still here 50,000 years ago when humans arrived in our land. Some have survived to become the animals we see today. But some, sadly, died out like the dinosaurs. Step into Nida Valley, where they still roam. They are waiting to tell you all about themselves.
A field guide to 60 dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that once lived in what is now North America. Featuring stunning illustrations of each animal by world-famous artist Sergey Krosovskiy and based on the latest paleontogical research, this book provides information about the where and when the animals lived, what they ate, and more.
The present book combines three main aspects: five major mass extinctions; contributions on some other minor extinctions; and more importantly contributions on the current mass extinction. All three aspects are introduced through interesting studies of mass extinctions in diverse organisms ranging from small invertebrates to mammals and take account of the most accepted subjects discussing mass extinctions in insects, mammals, fishes, ostracods and molluscs.
The volume contains summaries of facts, theories, and unsolved problems pertaining to the unexplained extinction of dozens of genera of mostly large terrestrial mammals, which occurred ca. 13,000 calendar years ago in North America and about 1,000 years later in South America. Another equally mysterious wave of extinctions affected large Caribbean islands around 5,000 years ago. The coupling of these extinctions with the earliest appearance of human beings has led to the suggestion that foraging humans are to blame, although major climatic shifts were also taking place in the Americas during some of the extinctions. The last published volume with similar (but not identical) themes -- Extinctions in Near Time -- appeared in 1999; since then a great deal of innovative, exciting new research has been done but has not yet been compiled and summarized. Different chapters in this volume provide in-depth resumés of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South America, the possible insights into animal ecology provided by studies of stable isotopes and anatomical/physiological characteristics such as growth increments in mammoth and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic research about large-mammal biology, the applications of dating methods to the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies concerning human hunting of large mammals.
Step back to a time when giant goannas and marsupial lions stalked the Australian bush. Imagine herds of two-tonne Diprotodon roaming the plains, and flocks of flightless ducks bigger than emus striding across the shallow inland sea.
The current extinction crisis is of human making, and any favorable resolution of that biodiversity crisis--among the most dire in the 4-billion-year history of Earth--will have to be initiated by mankind. Little time remains for the public, corporations, and governments to awaken to the magnitude of what is at stake. This book aims to assist that critical educational mission, synthesizing recent scientific information and ideas about threats to biodiversity in the past, present, and projected future. This is the second volume from the In the Light of Evolution series, based on a series of Arthur M. Sackler colloquia, and designed to promote the evolutionary sciences. Each installment explores evolutionary perspectives on a particular biological topic that is scientifically intriguing but also has special relevance to contemporary societal issues or challenges. Individually and collectively, the ILE series aims to interpret phenomena in various areas of biology through the lens of evolution, address some of the most intellectually engaging as well as pragmatically important societal issues of our times, and foster a greater appreciation of evolutionary biology as a consolidating foundation for the life sciences.

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