Monthly Archives: July 2014

Crash of the Titans

Rhinoceros are magnificent beasts. Their muscular and armored bodies sit on top of thick, stocky, legs giving these animals a literally awesome sense of power. Their massive heads, topped with it’s unique horn creates an ancient, almost mythical, persona to this … Continue reading

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The beasts within

Ask anyone to think of Pleistocene beasts and they will invariably conjure up images of herds of woolly mammoth, bison and horses sweeping majestically across the grassy plains, perhaps with a pack of dire wolves or lone short-faced bear stalking … Continue reading

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Of dwarfs and dragons

Stegodons were just one branch of the rather diverse probiscidean family tree (the family that includes elephants, mastodons, gomphotheres and mammoths). The stegodons, like the mammoths and elephants, are generally thought to have arisen in Africa, and ended up in Asia, … Continue reading

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Mammoths!

The first animal that pops into anyone’s head when you say ‘Ice Age’ will be the woolly mammoth. This is the iconic animal of the Pleistocene. There were other large proboscideans lolloping across the landscape, including the mastodon and the … Continue reading

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The lolloping shovel mouth

My first introduction to gomphotheres was a research critique of a seminal Quaternary paper by Janzen in ‘Science’ journal. Something about these peculiar and ungainly looking distant cousins of today’s noble elephant fascinated me! Everyone has of course heard of woolly … Continue reading

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The Nipple Tooth

  In the everyday language of superlatives “mammoth” and “mastodon” are used almost interchangeably. Yet, despite superficial similarities due to homology through shared ancestry, the animals could not be more different. Mastodons are known from both the old world and … Continue reading

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America’s original razorbacks

Peccaries are a family of superficially pig-like artiodactyls, sometimes erroneously called “wild pigs” or “New World pigs”. Both pigs (Suidae) and peccaries (Tayassuidae) have relatively large heads with a cartilaginous disc at the tip of the rostrum and tough, leathery … Continue reading

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