August 13, 2008

Nostalgia for the Pleistocene

Ten giant animals that are not around any more, from Mental Floss.

A good companion read is Connie Barlow's The Ghosts of Evolution: Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, and Other Ecological Anachronisms. I can never look at a coyote gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima) vine by the side of the road without thinking of the missing mastodon that was supposed to eat it.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

IIRC, global temperature change and changes in atmospheric oxygen levels (both due to non-human causes) and at the tail end, competition and hunting by modern humans, were the cause of the demise of these animals.

Reid Farmer said...

Chas -
I have the same thoughts every time I see an avocado!

LabRat said...

With me it's Durians... though those don't exactly grow by the side of the road 'round these parts.