With their spectacularly enlarged canines, sabertooth cats are among the most popular of prehistoric animals, yet it is surprising how little information about them is available for the curious layperson. What’s more, there were other sabertooths that were not cats, animals with exotic names like nimravids, barbourofelids, and thylacosmilids. Some were no taller than a domestic cat, others were larger than a lion, and some were as weird as their names suggest. Sabertooths continue to pose questions even for specialists. What did they look like? How did they use their spectacular canine teeth? And why did they finally go extinct? In this visual and intellectual treat of a book, Mauricio Antón tells their story in words and pictures, all scrupulously based on the latest scientific research. The book is a glorious wedding of science and art that celebrates the remarkable diversity of the life of the not-so-distant past.
Author: Paul Schultz Martin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2005
The author's overkill hypothesis is presented in this study that explains the mysterious megafauna extinctions in North and South America around the time humans arrived at the end of the last great ice age.
Author: Richard A. Fariña
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2013-05-22
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.
Author: Ian M. Lange
Release Date: 2017
This popular nontechnical introduction to the strange and marvelous beasts of the Pleistocene ice ages is now even better. Since Ice Age Mammals of North America was first published in 2002, new information from the rapidly evolving sciences of genetics and radiometric dating, coupled with new fossil discoveries, has revolutionized our understanding of these mostly extinct animals. Lange untangles the complex evolutionary lineages of mammal families, including the gomphotheres, elephant-like creatures that coexisted with humans at the end of the Pleistocene. You'll learn about the geologic events that led to the ice ages, along with possible causes for the mass extinctions of so many species. Fun sidebars explore such topics as the enormous size of some Ice Age animals, what teeth tell us about diets, how fossils and Ice Age mummies are preserved, and how scientists obtain DNA from fossilized dung. A state-by-state list of fossil and museum sites will guide you to the closest places to learn about Ice Age mammals.
Author: Gary Haynes
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2008-12-23
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.
Author: Sharon Levy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-03-22
Until about 13,000 years ago, North America was home to a menagerie of massive mammals. Mammoths, camels, and lions walked the ground that has become Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and foraged on the marsh land now buried beneath Chicago's streets. Then, just as the first humans reached the Americas, these Ice Age giants vanished forever. In Once and Future Giants, science writer Sharon Levy digs through the evidence surrounding Pleistocene large animal ("megafauna") extinction events worldwide, showing that understanding this history--and our part in it--is crucial for protecting the elephants, polar bears, and other great creatures at risk today. These surviving relatives of the Ice Age beasts now face the threat of another great die-off, as our species usurps the planet's last wild places while driving a warming trend more extreme than any in mammalian history. Deftly navigating competing theories and emerging evidence, Once and Future Giants examines the extent of human influence on megafauna extinctions past and present, and explores innovative conservation efforts around the globe. The key to modern-day conservation, Levy suggests, may lie fossilized right under our feet.
Author: Jordi Agustí
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2005-10-26
Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids takes us on a journey through 65 million years, from the aftermath of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the glacial climax of the Pleistocene epoch; from the rain forests of the Paleocene and the Eocene, with their lemur-like primates, to the harsh landscape of the Pleistocene Steppes, home to the woolly mammoth. It is also a journey through space, following the migrations of mammal species that evolved on other continents and eventually met to compete or coexist in Cenozoic Europe. Finally, it is a journey through the complexity of mammalian evolution, a review of the changes and adaptations that have allowed mammals to flourish and become the dominant land vertebrates on Earth. With the benefit of recent advances in geological and geophysical techniques, Jordi Agustí and Mauricio Antón are able to trace the processes of mammalian evolution as never before; events that hitherto appeared synchronous or at least closely related can now be distinguished on a scale of hundreds or even dozens of thousands of years, revealing the dramatic importance of climactic changes both major and minor. Evolutionary developments are rendered in magnificent illustrations of the many extraordinary species that once inhabited Europe, detailing their osteology, functional anatomy, and inferred patterns of locomotion and behavior. Based on the latest research and field work, Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids transforms our understanding of how mammals evolved and changed the face of the planet.
Author: Donald Grayson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2011-04-18
"The Great Basin, centering on Nevada and including substantial parts of California, Oregon, and Utah, gets its name from the fact that none of its rivers or streams flow to the sea. This book synthesizes the past 25,000 years of the natural history of this vast region. It explores the extinct animals that lived in the Great Basin during the Ice Age and recounts the rise and fall of the massive Ice Age lakes that existed here. It explains why trees once grew 13' beneath what is now the surface of Lake Tahoe, explores the nearly two dozen Great Basin mountain ranges that once held substantial glaciers, and tells the remarkable story of how pinyon pine came to cover some 17,000,000 acres of the Great Basin in the relatively recent past.These discussions culminate with the impressive history of the prehistoric people of the Great Basin, a history that shows how human societies dealt with nearly 13,000 years of climate change on this often-challenging landscape"--Provided by publisher.
Author: George Frison
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2004-08-11
Genre: Social Science
"George Frison is an icon in American archeology. In Survival by Hunting, he describes personal experiences leading to the insights and perspectives that set him apart from the majority of his colleagues, who know of large game hunting only secondhand."—Michael B. Collins, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, the University of Texas at Austin “This small book is a record of achievement and dedication to learning rarely seen in the profession of archaeology. It is the inspirational product of a person who fully understands the critical importance of prior knowledge about the behavior of prey to inferring the activities of ancient hunter-gatherers. Students of past hunter-gatherers need to read this book.”—Lewis R. Binford, author of In Pursuit of the Past
Author: Darin A. Croft
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2016-08-29
South America is home to some of the most distinctive mammals on Earth—giant armadillos, tiny anteaters, the world’s largest rodent, and its smallest deer. But the continent once supported a variety of other equally intriguing mammals that have no close living relatives: armored mammals with tail clubs, saber-toothed marsupials, and even a swimming sloth. We know of the existence of these peculiar species thanks to South America’s rich fossil record, which provides many glimpses of prehistoric mammals and the ecosystems in which they lived. Organized as a "walk through time" and featuring species from 15 important fossil sites, this book is the most extensive and richly illustrated volume devoted exclusively to the Cenozoic mammals of South America. The text is supported by 75 life reconstructions of extinct species in their native habitats, as well as photographs of fossil specimens and the sites highlighted in the book. An annotated bibliography is included for those interested in delving into the scientific literature.
Author: Charles G. Oviatt
Release Date: 2016-08-24
Lake Bonneville: A Scientific Update showcases new information and interpretations about this important lake in the North American Great Basin, presenting a relatively complete summary of the evolving scientific ideas about the Pleistocene lake. A comprehensive book on Lake Bonneville has not been published since the masterpiece of G.K. Gilbert in 1890. Because of Gilbert’s work, Lake Bonneville has been the starting point for many studies of Quaternary paleolakes in many places throughout the world. Numerous journal articles, and a few books on specialized topics related to Lake Bonneville, have been published since the late 1800s, but here the editors compile the important data and perspectives of the early 21st century into a book that will be an essential reference for future generations. Scientific research on Lake Bonneville is vibrant today and will continue into the future. Makes the widespread and detailed literature on this well-known Pleistocene body of water accessible Gives expositions of the many famous and iconic landforms and deposits Contains over 300 illustrations, most in full color Contains chapters on many important topics, including stratigraphy, sedimentology, hydrology, geomorphology, geochronology, isostasy, geophysics, geochemistry, vegetation history, pollen, fishes, mammals, mountain glaciation, prehistoric humans, paleoclimate, remote sensing, and geoantiquities in the Bonneville basin
Author: Robert Chapman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2016-10-06
Genre: Social Science
How do archaeologists work with the data they identify as a record of the cultural past? How are these data collected and construed as evidence? What is the impact on archaeological practice of new techniques of data recovery and analysis, especially those imported from the sciences? To answer these questions, the authors identify close-to-the-ground principles of best practice based on an analysis of examples of evidential reasoning in archaeology that are widely regarded as successful, contested, or instructive failures. They look at how archaeologists put old evidence to work in pursuit of new interpretations, how they construct provisional foundations for inquiry as they go, and how they navigate the multidisciplinary ties that make archaeology a productive intellectual trading zone. This case-based approach is predicated on a conviction that archaeological practice is a repository of considerable methodological wisdom, embodied in tacit norms and skilled expertise Â? wisdom that is rarely made explicit except when contested, and is often obscured when questions about the status and reach of archaeological evidence figure in high-profile crisis debates.