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The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth.
Until a few thousand years ago, creatures—“megafauna”—that could have been from a sci-fi thriller roamed the earth. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.
Ross MacPhee explores the question of what caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths, examining the extinction theories, weighing the evidence and presenting his conclusions. He comments on how past extinctions can shed light on future losses and on the possibility of bringing back extinct species through genetic engineering. Gorgeous four-colour illustrations bring these megabeasts back to life in vivid detail.
“Ross McPhee's End of the Megafauna is a marvellous survey of what we know about the magnificent creatures who shared our world just 12,000 years ago, and he is brilliantly served by the superb illustrations of Australian artist Peter Schouten. There are also excellent maps and diagrams, helping you remember the difference between your Pleistocene and Holocene. The book is also a compelling, sometimes demanding and scientifically rigorous detective story.” — The Sunday Times
“Palaeomammalogist Ross MacPhee examines the theories, such as human over-hunting, climate change, emergent infections and food-web disruption; articulates the ongoing debate around them and what that might tell us about today’s biodiversity crisis; and takes a look at de-extinction. Packed with evocative artwork by Peter Schouten.” — Nature