Author Archives: twilightbeasts

Tamed: ten species that changed our world

The strong autumn sun shines powerfully on the hills in front of me. Yellows, oranges, reds, and browns light up in a dazzling array of hues, as if the trees themselves are on fire. Three horses munch grass in a … Continue reading

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Walking on thin ice

No other animal symbolises climate change like the polar bear does. Just like the dodo has become the standard animal representing extinction, the polar bear has become recognised as the animal signifying our impact on the planet’s rapidly warming climate. … Continue reading

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The lonely walk to extinction

Our very species is an oxymoron. When Linnaeus added us to the taxonomic ranks of life, he dubbed humans Homo sapiens: literally meaning ‘wise man’. Sometimes I wonder how ‘wise’ we are. We can send people to live in space, … Continue reading

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Discovering the mammoth: A tale of giants, unicorns, ivory, and the birth of a new science

Mammoth. With one word, we can all conjure up a mental picture of a woolly elephant, tusks curving out and in, possibly in a herd, in a habitat cold and snowy with biting wind and unforgiving snow. Isn’t it weird? … Continue reading

Posted in Cave art, Columbian Mammoth, Deinotherium, Extinction, Mastodon, Palaeoloxodon, Scientific Art, Stegodon, Woolly Mammoth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A very brief introduction to mammoths

I was in Los Angeles when I first saw him. I stood in his shadow as he towered above me. I didn’t feel fear. Or panic. I felt awe despite being dwarfed. Light bounces off each bone, highlighting the curves, … Continue reading

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The Stuff Of Night-Mares

Now that my thesis is nearly at the end, I can tell you all this secret. I have been so tiddled off at the archaeological paradigm that all ancient horses were wee tiny ponies. Victorian zoologists like Ridgeway and Ewart … Continue reading

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The Devil on the mountain

When hiking high in the Alps you may encounter the devil himself. Or so claims Swiss naturalist and mountaineer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799), when he writes, that one will be only ‘in the company of the devil,…’ if climbing the … Continue reading

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