Sabertooth


Author: Mauricio Antón
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253010497
Category: Science
Page: 268
View: 9094

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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.

Rhinoceros Giants

The Paleobiology of Indricotheres
Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253008190
Category: Nature
Page: 141
View: 8380

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A book for everyone fascinated by the huge beasts that once roamed the earth, Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of the Indricotheres introduces a prime candidate for the largest land mammal that ever lived--the giant hornless rhinoceros, Indricotherium. These massive animals lived in Asia and Eurasia for more than 14 million years, about 37 to 23 million years ago. They had skulls 2 metres / 6 feet long, stood over 7 meters / 22 feet high at the shoulder, and were nearly twice as heavy as the largest elephant ever recorded, tipping the scales at 20,000 kg / 44,100 pounds. Fortunately, the big brutes were vegetarians, although they must have made predators think twice before trying to bring them down. In this book for lovers of ancient creatures great and small, Donald R. Prothero tells their story, from their discovery by palaeontologists just a century ago to the latest research on how they lived and died, with some interesting side trips along the way.

In the Shadow of the Sabertooth

Global Warming, the Origins of the First Americans, and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene
Author: Doug Peacock
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 1849351414
Category: Nature
Page: 200
View: 4193

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"Doug Peacock, as ever, walks point for all of us. Not since Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature has a book of such import been presented to readers. Peacock’s intelligence defies measure. His is a beautiful, feral heart, always robust, relentless with its love and desire for the human race to survive, and be sculpted by the coming hard times: to learn a magnificent humility, even so late in the game. Doug Peacock’s mind is a marvel—there could be no more generous act than the writing of this book. It is a crowning achievement in a long career sent in service of beauty and the dignity of life."—Rick Bass, author of Why I Came West and The Lives of Rocks Our climate is changing fast. The future is uncertain, probably fiery, and likely terrifying. Yet shifting weather patterns have threatened humans before, right here in North America, when people first colonized this continent. About 15,000 years ago, the weather began to warm, melting the huge glaciers of the Late Pleistocene. In this brand new landscape, humans managed to adapt to unfamiliar habitats and dangerous creatures in the midst of a wildly fluctuating climate. What was it like to live with huge pack-hunting lions, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and gigantic short-faced bears, to hunt now extinct horses, camels, and mammoth? Are there lessons for modern people lingering along this ancient trail? The shifting weather patterns of today—what we call "global warming"—will far exceed anything our ancestors previously faced. Doug Peacock's latest narrative explores the full circle of climate change, from the death of the megafauna to the depletion of the ozone, in a deeply personal story that takes readers from Peacock's participation in an archeological dig for early Clovis remains in Livingston, MT, near his home, to the death of the local whitebark pine trees in the same region, as a result of changes in the migration pattern of pine beetles with the warming seasons. Writer and adventurer Doug Peacock has spent the past fifty years wandering the earth's wildest places, studying grizzly bears and advocating for the preservation of wilderness. He is the author of Grizzly Years; Baja; and Walking It Off and co-author of The Essential Grizzly. Peacock was named a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2011 Lannan Fellow.

Megafauna

Giant Beasts of Pleistocene South America
Author: Richard A. Fariña,Sergio F. Vizcaíno,Gerry De Iuliis
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253007194
Category: Science
Page: 448
View: 7272

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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.

Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids

65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe
Author: Jordi Agustí,Mauricio Antón
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231516339
Category: Science
Page: 328
View: 7794

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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.

Smilodon

The Iconic Sabertooth
Author: Lars Werdelin,H. G. McDonald,Christopher A. Shaw
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421425572
Category: Science
Page: 224
View: 912

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Few animals spark the imagination as much as the sabertooth cat Smilodon. With their incredibly long canines, which hung like fangs past their jaws, these ferocious predators were first encountered by humans when our species entered the Americas. We can only imagine what ice age humans felt when they were confronted by a wild cat larger than a Siberian tiger. Because Smilodon skeletons are perennial favorites with museum visitors, researchers have devoted themselves to learning as much as possible about the lives of these massive cats. This volume, edited by celebrated academics, brings together a team of experts to provide a comprehensive and contemporary view of all that is known about Smilodon. The result is a detailed scientific work that will be invaluable to paleontologists, mammalogists, and serious amateur sabertooth devotees. The book • covers all major aspects of the animal’s natural history, evolution, phylogenetic relationships, anatomy, biomechanics, and ecology • traces all three Smilodon species across both North and South America • brings together original, unpublished research with historical accounts of Smilodon’s discovery in nineteenth-century Brazil The definitive reference on these iconic Pleistocene mammals, Smilodon will be cited by researchers for decades to come. Contributors: John P. Babiarz, Wendy J. Binder, Charles S. Churcher, Larisa R. G. DeSantis, Robert S. Feranec, Therese Flink, James L. Knight, Margaret E. Lewis, Larry D. Martin, H. Gregory McDonald, Julie A. Meachen, William C. H. Parr, Ashley R. Reynolds. Kevin L. Seymour, Christopher A. Shaw, C. S. Ware, Lars Werdelin, H. Todd Wheeler, Stephen Wroe, M. Aleksander Wysocki

The Sauropod Dinosaurs

Life in the Age of Giants
Author: Mark Hallett,Mathew J. Wedel
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421420287
Category: Nature
Page: 336
View: 7347

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From The Land Before Time to Jurassic Park, images of fantastically large, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs have captured our imaginations. These are the sauropods: centerpieces of museums and gentle giants of the distant past. Imagine what it must have been like to crest a hill and see in the valley below not just one sauropod, but an entire herd, feeding its way across the landscape. The most massive land animals ever to have lived, sauropods roamed widely across the continents through most of the "Age of Dinosaurs" from about 220 to 65 million years ago. They reached incredible sizes, giving rise to the question: Why were they so big? Early guesses suggested that they gained protection from predators by virtue of their size, which also allowed them to reach the tops of trees in order to eat leaves and conifer needles. More recent hypotheses hold that they needed a long and complicated digestive tract due to their consumption of low-nutrient food sources: size was an offshoot of that need. Whatever the explanation, there is little doubt that natural selection produced something extraordinary when the Sauropoda diversified into a wide variety of species. This book combines majestic artwork and the best of paleontological research to resurrect the lives of sauropods. The Sauropod Dinosaurs shows how these amazing creatures raised and defended their young, traveled in groups, and interacted with the rich diversity of Mesozoic plants and animals. Beautiful enough to sit on the coffee table, the book also serves as the best reference available on these bygone giants. Anyone with a passion for dinosaurs or prehistoric life will cherish this once-in-a-generation masterpiece. The book includes the following features:· Over 200 full-color illustrations· More than 100 color photographs from museums, field sites, and collections around the world· Thoughtfully placed drawings and charts· Clearly written text reviewed by major sauropod researchers· Descriptions of the latest sauropod concepts and discoveries· A field guide to major groups of sauropods· Detailed skeletal reconstructions and anatomical restorations· A comprehensive glossary

After the Dinosaurs

The Age of Mammals
Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253000552
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 4157

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Perhaps nudged over the evolutionary cliff by a giant boloid striking the earth, the incredible and fascinating group of animals called dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago (except for their feathered descendants). In their place evolved an enormous variety of land creatures, especially the mammals, which in their way were every bit as remarkable as their Mesozoic cousins. The Age of Mammals, the Cenozoic Era, has never had its Jurassic Park, but it was an amazing time in earth’s history, populated by a wonderful assortment of bizarre animals. The rapid evolution of thousands of species of mammals brought forth gigantic hornless rhinos, sabertooth cats, mastodonts and mammoths, and many other creatures—including our own ancestors. Their story is part of a larger story of a world emerging from the greenhouse conditions of the Mesozoic, warming up dramatically about 55 million years ago, and then cooling rapidly so that 33 million years ago the glacial ice returned. The earth’s vegetation went through equally dramatic changes, from tropical jungles in Montana and forests at the poles, to grasslands and savannas across the entire world. Life in the sea also underwent striking evolution reflecting global climate change, including the emergence of such creatures as giant sharks, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales. After the Dinosaurs is a book for everyone who has an abiding fascination with the remarkable life of the past.

Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys

The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America
Author: Darin A. Croft
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253020948
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 4960

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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.

Wild Cats of the World


Author: Luke Hunter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472922859
Category: Nature
Page: 240
View: 1643

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Ranging from the largest - the Tiger to the smallest species - the Rusty-spotted Cat and Black-footed Cat, the world's wild cats are some of the most beautiful, ferocious and feared carnivores in the world. Wild Cats of the World provides a detailed account of each species of wild cat, examining their importance throughout history and the future of some of the most endangered breeds. Using stunning photography and magnificent colour plates by top wildlife artist Priscilla Barrett to depict each cat in detail, Wild Cats of the World examines the characteristics of all 38 species, as well as their history, distribution and current IUCN status.

Evolving Eden

An Illustrated Guide to the Evolution of the African Large-mammal Fauna
Author: Alan Turner,Mauricio Antón
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231119443
Category: Science
Page: 269
View: 9371

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Linking the evidence of the past with that of the present, this exquisitely illustrated guide examines the evolution of the mammalian fauna of Africa within the context of dramatic changes over the course of more than 30 million years of primate presence. The book covers such topics as dating, continental drift, climate change, and both the physical evolution of the African continent and the biological evolution of its mammalian fauna.Restorations of the musculature of mammals and their appearance take into account the affinities between fossil forms and extant species in order to make well-founded inferences about unpreserved animal attributes. Environmental reconstructions benefit from the authors' visits to more than a dozen wildlife preserves in five African countries as well as the use of an extensive database of published studies on the evolution of landscapes on the continent. A detailed and engaging volume, "Evolving Eden" discusses human evolution as a part of the larger pattern of mammalian evolution while responding to the unique interest that we have for our own past.

Once and Future Giants

What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth's Largest Animals
Author: Sharon Levy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199831548
Category: Science
Page: 280
View: 7709

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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.

The Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives

An Illustrated Guide to Their Evolution and Natural History
Author: Alan Turner,Mauricio Antón
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231102292
Category: Nature
Page: 234
View: 6417

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Presents over two hundred drawings of big cats that connect modern cats with their ancient ancestors

Survival of the Beautiful

Art, Science, and Evolution
Author: David Rothenberg
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408830566
Category: Art and science
Page: 311
View: 5483

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'The peacock's tail makes me sick!' said Charles Darwin. That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetic taste than adaptive fitness. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have an innate appreciation for beauty - and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.

How to Clone a Mammoth

The Science of De-Extinction
Author: Beth Shapiro
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865484
Category: Nature
Page: 240
View: 4120

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Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.

Dogs

Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History
Author: Xiaoming Wang,Richard H. Tedford,Mauricio Anton
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231135297
Category: Science
Page: 219
View: 1813

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Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford combine their research with Mauricio Ant?n's impeccable reconstructions to present a remarkable portrait of canids over the past 40 million years. Wang and Tedford cull their history from the most recent scientific research conducted on the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History and other leading institutions. With their rich fossil record, diverse adaptations to various environments, and different predatory specializations, canids are an ideal model organism for the mapping of predator behavior and morphological specializations. They also offer an excellent contrast to felids, which remain entrenched in extreme predatory specializations. The innovative illustrated approach of this book transforms the science of paleontology into a thrilling visual experience, and it forms the perfect accompaniment to an extremely important branch of animal and fossil study.

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals


Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884454
Category: Nature
Page: 240
View: 1477

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After the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, mammals became the dominant terrestrial life form on our planet. Roaming the earth were spectacular beasts such as saber-toothed cats, giant mastodonts, immense ground sloths, and gigantic giraffe-like rhinoceroses. Here is the ultimate illustrated field guide to the lost world of these weird and wonderful prehistoric creatures. A woolly mammoth probably won't come thundering through your vegetable garden any time soon. But if one did, this would be the book to keep on your windowsill next to the binoculars. It covers all the main groups of fossil mammals, discussing taxonomy and evolutionary history, and providing concise accounts of the better-known genera and species as well as an up-to-date family tree for each group. No other book presents such a wealth of new information about these animals—what they looked like, how they behaved, and how they were interrelated. In addition, this unique guide is stunningly illustrated throughout with full-color reconstructions of these beasts—many never before depicted—along with photographs of amazing fossils from around the world. Provides an up-to-date guidebook to hundreds of extinct species, from saber-toothed cats to giant mammoths Features a wealth of color illustrations, including new reconstructions of many animals never before depicted Demonstrates evolution in action—such as how whales evolved from hoofed mammals and how giraffes evolved from creatures with short necks Explains how mass extinctions and climate change affected mammals, including why some mammals grew so huge

Smilodon


Author: Alan Nayes
Publisher: anayes.com
ISBN: N.A
Category: Fiction
Page: 300
View: 8184

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Jason Bristol, ex-prize fighter and expert animal tracker, and part-time drunk, teams up with beautiful wildlife biologist Norah Phelps as they pursue a man-eating predator that threatens to derail her father’s prize real estate development project in north central Idaho. Against the majestic pristine backdrop of Idaho’s Bitterroot Wilderness Area, the adventure unfolds. Jason, with Norah’s assistance, soon discovers the ghosts of his past are nothing compared to the battle he’s undertaken. Smilodon. A saber-toothed cat. He’s angry, he’s frightened, he’s hungry, and he’s 12,000 years from home!

Plants in Mesozoic Time

Morphological Innovations, Phylogeny, Ecosystems
Author: Carole T. Gee
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253001994
Category: Science
Page: 424
View: 3852

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Plants in Mesozoic Time showcases the latest research of broad botanical and paleontological interest from the world's experts on Mesozoic plant life. Each chapter covers a special aspect of a particular plant group -- ranging from horsetails to ginkgophytes, from cycads to conifers -- and relates it to key innovations in structure, phylogenetic relationships, the Mesozoic flora, or to animals such as plant-eating dinosaurs. The book's geographic scope ranges from Antarctica and Argentina to the western interior of North America, with studies on the reconstruction of the Late Jurassic vegetation of the Morrison Formation and on fossil angiosperm lianas from Late Cretaceous deposits in Utah and New Mexico. The volume also includes cutting-edge studies on the evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") of Mesozoic forests, the phylogenetic analysis of the still enigmatic bennettitaleans, and the genetic developmental controls of the oldest flowers in the fossil record.