Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thrillerincluding gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or moreroamed the earth. These great beasts, or megafauna, lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafaunaand how sy...
|Title||:||End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals Reviews
This book is skillfully written and beautifully illustrated and competently sums up all the theories about the extinction of the megafauna of the Americas in particular. Still, there is no clear cut explanation of the phenomina.
This would be a three star book without the superb illustrations and captions showing many of the now extinct animals. The text is primarily about theories of the mechanisms of extinction - climate change and humanity being the two major contenders. Both have flaws for being the single cause of the widespread extinctions. Some less well known hypotheses are also discussed.
If for no other reason, though, I’d recommend getting this book from the library to view the gorgeous pictures.
This was a surprisingly readable discussion of a longstanding scientific question: why did so much of the prehistoric megafauna, like woolly mammoths and ground sloths, go extinct? MacPhee sets the stage and then lays out the arguments in a conversational way. Was it overhunting by prehistoric humans? Climate change? Or something else? The illustrations, which depict the animals in their habitats and include extant animals that co-existed with them for scale and realism, are wonderful. This book ...more