2015: A review of the Beasts

At the end of each year, bloggers on WordPress.com are sent a short summary of activity on their blog. The whole report can be seen at the link at the end of this post if you like to scan through.

For us three who manage the Twilight Beast blog, this report is a perfect opportunity to once again thank readers for their comments, thoughts and support of the blog posts over the last year! We are really enjoying bringing familiar, and not so familiar, beasts alive.

A very christmassy Twilight Beasts logo. (Art by Tabitha Paterson)

A very christmassy Twilight Beasts logo. (Art by Tabitha Paterson)

2015 has been a great year for the Beasts. We have had two special weeks:

#ExtinctWeek was raising the profile of extinction, and the vulnerability of species today. The week saw three posts about iconic creatures which have only just become extinct: the Thylacine, the Quagga, and the Dodo.

#HomininWeek saw the first blog posts from us about our not too distant relatives, including the robust cousin, Paranthropus; the strange species with only a few fossils the mysterious Denisovans; and a hominin who has had a bad rap over the ages, our favorites the Neanderthals.

We have had excellent guest blog posts from some very talented people:

– The incredible artwork of @TedRechlin creates a very special comic book style post looking at the American Lion and the Giant Short-Faced Bear, in Just like the weather

– @ferwen takes us back to a time when ginormous Terror Birds stalked the land. These giants were around for over 60 million years! Read more about them in The long reign of terror.

@osteoconner takes a look at one of our often forgotten cousin, the vegetarian Paranthropus in Side by side with Homo

– Ancient DNA is adding more information to what we know about the recent past. And sometimes confuses things too. Meet they mysterious human species known as the Denisovans by @sunderdown: Who were the Denisovans anyway?

– We were very privileged to have a unique, first hand account of the incredible discovery of Homo naledi by one of the incredible underground astronauts @Paleo_Bonegirl: We are made of staff stuff

cOMPOSITE SKELETON OF

The beautiful fossils of Homo naledi discovered in 2015. (Image credit John Hawks, University of the Witwatersrand)

 

And here are our top five most viewed blog posts of 2015!

Number 5: Real vampires in South America. Not so long ago, there were giant vampire bats fluttering around the South American jungles!

Number 4: The long reign of terror. Co-written by a guest blogger, explore the world after the dinosaurs vanished. Well, most of them anyway.

Number 3: Paddingtons dangerous cousin. There were once meat- eating bears in South America. And they were big.

Number 2: Who were the Denisovans anyway? A guest blog written by @simonunderdown explores this mysterious species of human.

– Number 1: Neanderthals and us: we’re not so differenct. Neanderthals have been portrayed in a very negative way since they were first discovered. You will find out that we are actually very similar.

A complete skeleton of Neanderthal, with a model next to it. (Image "Skeleton and restoration model of Neanderthal La Ferrassie 1" by Photaro - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skeleton_and_restoration_model_of_Neanderthal_La_Ferrassie_1.jpg#/media/File:Skeleton_and_restoration_model_of_Neanderthal_La_Ferrassie_1.jpg

A complete skeleton of Neanderthal, with a model next to it. (Image by Wiki member Photaro, Public Domain)

As with any ‘top read’ lists, there are also ‘least read’ lists. So, we give you our least read blog posts of 2015. Let’s show them a little love!

Number 5: America’s original razorbacks. Written in July 2014, this guest post by Aaron Woodruff (@CenozoicKing) looks at the cute little pig-like peccaries.

Number 4: A test of time. Discover how we know what the climate was like in the past by examiming a small little organism.

Number 3: An unexpected river horse. Hippos in Britain!

Number 2: Survivors. The wonderfully bizarre Saiga antelope were once widespread across Europe, including in Britain! They have had many hits to their numbers through time, but this resilient little mammal bounces back.

Number 1: The Beasts Within. This guest post was written by Jamie Wood (@larusnz) in July 2014. It hasn’t had much traffic this year. With giant sloth poo and parasites, what’s not to love!

We have new beasts and big plans for 2016! We hope you continue to enjoy our posts, and please get in touch if you want to write a guest post, or want to suggest a creature you want to see on here!

Happy new year to everyone! Enjoy being with family and friends, as we all know, time goes too quickly. From the Twilight Beasts team.

Click here to see the complete report.

megafauna, pleistocene, twilight beasts, thylacine, extinction

As a celebration of Twilight Beasts blog reaching 100,000 views, one of our readers, Beth Windle, drew this beautiful Thylacine to celebrate.

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5 Responses to 2015: A review of the Beasts

  1. You had 81,000 views this year, that’s incredible! It’s also well-deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts, and look forward to your further releases in 2016.

  2. Thanks for your great collective work(s). Yours is one of the most satisfying and helpful blogs to read and explore. Happy new year 2016!

  3. kerberos616 says:

    Reblogged this on Kerberos616.

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