Because Paleomammals are cool . . .

Let’s face it. Dinosaurs get all the glory, but paleomammals went in some really odd directions before, well, various things happened, some of which either involved or coincided with* humans.

And if you thought that wasn’t odd enough, Australia said, “Here, hold my Toohey’s and watch this!”

In case you wondered what meeting some of the native fauna of Shikhari might entail . . .

The Americas, too, had some real oddities, especially South America. They seem to have died out when a land-bridge connected the continents and competition from North America moved in. That suggests pre-stress that affected the competitors somewhat less, or that the competitors were better adapted to deal with.

*There is a very heated controversy as to what role humans played in the extinction of the megafauna in the Americas and Australia. My feeling is that human hunting pressure, combined with the climate changes at the end of the last Ice Age, probably was too much, with climate shifts being the biggest difficulty for the paleomammals. If, as the geology suggests, large swaths of North America went from tundra to taiga to leafy forest to grassland in a little over a century, things like mastadons, mammoths, and giant sloths are not going to be able to adapt fast enough to cope with that enormous change in temperatures, precipitation, and flora.


10 thoughts on “Because Paleomammals are cool . . .

  1. This is a better visual, tying together a lot of thoughts. I’m glad that the Haast eagle didn’t make an appearance as the Holy Terror bird. What other name is there for a raptor that preys on moas?

  2. Kiwis: ” Hold my Tui. Easy as …”

    20 minutes later: ” He’ll do. Bit skittish

    Thinking of Stick, here.

  3. Ahh, Paraceratherium. Once known as Baluchitherium… er, Indricotherium… er, Pristinotherium … errr, that thing (waves in its general direction). Personally I prefer “Baluchitherium” – it’s a nicely rhythmic name, easy on both the ears and the tongue, and it sounds exotic and cool.

    Yes, paleo-mammals, especially Oligocene and Miocene ones, are way weird and way cool and don’t get half as much attention as they deserve. Consider Andrewsarchus, for example, or the primitive whale Basilosaurus.

    As for Australia’s, ancient megafauna, anyplace/time that boasts a monitor lizard thirty feet long is not a place/time I want to visit. To quote Douglas Adams, that is entirely the wrong size for a lizard to be.

    • I grew up with Baluchitherium. Literally, because there was a life-sized model of one in the museum in Lincoln, NE that we’d go visit from time to time, along with mammoth and mastodon skeletons, and other fun stuff.

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