There are many advantages to being alive today, but there is one disadvantage—we missed out on seeing the best animal ever. Thirty-seven million years ago, the oceans and land were patrolled by a 6’8” penguin.
Humans are pretty good at mucking up the Earth, whether we’re warming the climate, leveling the rainforest, or driving wild animals extinct. But climate change, at least, was wreaking havoc long before we got involved. For instance, it’s looking very likely that global warming, rather than human spears, doomed Earth’s…
Saber fanged cats ruled the Pleistocene and survived the last Ice Age, but went extinct at roughly the same time that humans were discovering agriculture. This is the first time in millions of years that sabercats haven't roamed the planet. But we might just survive long enough to see them return.
Feeling a little blue? Well the Motivational Megafauna want you to turn that frown upside-down and learn to love yourself. And if you happen to recall which one is a Procoptodon and which one is a Smilodon tomorrow, they will be simply delighted.
Scientists believe that thousands of years ago, megafauna like mastadons helped disperse the enormous seeds of many plants. They'd eat the seeds, and then deposit them in their wanderings. But, with those creatures millennia dead, how do these plants still survive? In one case, it due to thievery-loving rodents.
Forget your tired images of prehistoric humans riding atop woolly mammoths and replace them with the thought of people hopping about inside the pouch of a giant wallaby. New research suggests that early humans coexisted with Tasmania's megafauna — and might have had a hand in their extinction.
We usually think of woolly mammoths as purely Ice Age creatures. But while most did indeed die out 10,000 years ago, one tiny population endured on isolated Wrangel Island until 1650 BCE. So why did they finally go extinct?
Charles R. Knight was a wildlife illustrator whose career spanned the era when dinosaurs first captured the public imagination in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Unlike other nature artists of his generation, Knight realized that the same skills he used to capture the beauty of wild animals could be…
About 13,000 years ago, the megafauna of North America began to die out, and the world entered a brief cold period known as the Younger Dryas.
So we've gone to all that trouble to clone ourselves a mammoth. Let's say we even give it a mate. What do we do with them? Perhaps the mammoths, and other creatures, shouldn't just be in zoos and captive breeding programs. Instead, maybe we could recreate a whole ecosystem from scratch.
We know that humans reached North America between 40000 and 16000 years ago...and that's about all we know for certain. Anything in American prehistory before about 10000 years ago remains deeply controversial. But some mastodon bones found in the 1970s recently revealed major clues.
Sixty million years ago, the world belonged to Titanoboa, a gigantic snake that measured 40 to 50 feet long and weighed over 2,500 pounds. Only one creature could challenge it: a newly discovered, twenty-foot freshwater crocodile.
The most recent ice age was dominated by gigantic mammals like the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, and saber-tooth cat. But there's an evolutionary mystery here. How did these animals enter the ice age already perfectly adapted for such brutally cold climates?
This pleasant-looking fellow is diprotodon optatum, a giant marsupial that lived in Australia for millions of years. We've now discovered the first complete skeleton of this marsupial, proving the only things more bizarre than Australian animals are ancient Australian animals.
The sadly out-of-print Weird War Tales furnished readers with oodles of nutty paranormal combat stories. In this obscure yet awesome short, a Nazi regiment fights a woolly mammoth thawed out of glacier...and then they tame it. Hilarity ensues.
Giant insects are stalwart monsters in science fiction, and million of years ago, arthropods grew to Brobdingnagian sizes. But why aren't ants the size of rats disrupting our picnics today?
These 100,000-year-old footprints were left by a giant wombat, one species of megafauna among many that once roamed Australia. Now artists have created portraits of these lost megafauna for National Geographic, and you can see some below.
This is perhaps the oldest painting on the continent of Australia. It depicts the Genyornis, a giant bird that went extinct 40,000 years ago. And it's one of the only snapshots we have of the ancient creature.
When humans migrated to the Americas roughly 13 thousand years ago, they hunted megafauna like mammoths to extinction. The result? Scientists say that without giant animal farts, there was a massive depletion in atmospheric methane, possibly causing an ice age.