Tag Archives: ancient DNA

An elephant shakes a tree

Mammoths get all the attention. Like an annoying younger sibling, they hog a limelight that should be more equally shared. Occasionally, the mastodon gets a whisp of publicity, which is notable mostly for its rarity. The vast family of proboscideans … Continue reading

Posted in Columbian Mammoth, Deinotherium, Extinction, Hippopotamus, Mastodon, Palaeoloxodon, Stegodon, Steppe Mammoth, Woolly Mammoth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lost, as the moa is lost!

Every biologist has a gateway species. The taxon you had never heard of before that just looked so weird and unusual that you had to learn more. So, you looked up a few books, searched some library holdings, maybe photocopied … Continue reading

Posted in moa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The moo of the wild

In a sense, Pleistocene megafauna are still with us even in post-industrial England. It may not seem like it but the humble heifer is probably the most successful species of megafauna on the planet, outnumbering all the elephants, rhinos, whales, … Continue reading

Posted in Aurochs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Lynx effect

Here at TwilightBeasts we like to focus on the Pleistocene. That magic time when everything was bigger, badder, and weirder than now. But it’s a simple fact that every species now extant must have had an ancestor during the Pleistocene. … Continue reading

Posted in Lynx | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Seeking redemption

Extinction, they say, is forever. There’s the distressing aspect of poaching and trophy hunting (can you tell the difference any more? No, me neither) as highlighted by the senseless, savage deaths of rhinos, elephants, lions, tigers and many more creatures. … Continue reading

Posted in Quagga | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Yesterday’s Camel

Camels are weird. I think we like them because their curmudgeonly reputation reminds us of someone we know (or ourselves!). Easy to recognise and totally unlike any other mammal, the “ship of the desert” is always included in Noah’s ark … Continue reading

Posted in Camelops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

When is an aardvark not an aardvark? When it’s from Madgascar!

I think about extinction a lot. Its hard not to when researching Pleistocene mammals. One of the sobering things about this kind of research is that you become aware of the high likelihood of “unknown unknowns”: animals that existed but … Continue reading

Posted in Bibymalagasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments