News Bite: Kerberos! Giant mammal carnivore from after the Age of Dinosaurs!
It weighed twice as much as a modern wolf. It had three pairs of meat-slicing teeth. It was the first carnivorous land animal to reach 200 pounds on the entire continent of Europe after the extinction of the dinosaurs. And a team of European scientists and Past Time co-host Matthew Borths just introduced us to it. Ladies and gentlemen: meet Kerberos, monster mammal carnivore!
Filed under: Carnivora, Carnivores, Carnivory, Cenozoic, Creodonta, Creodonts, Creotonta, Europe, Fossils, France, Giant, Hyaenodontida, Hyaenodontidae, Mammals, Meat-eater, Palaeontology, Paleontology
Episode 10 Field Guide: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Discovery
Hobbits! Dragons! Weird elephants and ancient mysteries! It’s the stuff of literary and box office gold. And it turns out it’s the stuff of prehistory, too! In 2004 a group of paleontologists working on the island of Flores, a part of the Indonesian archipelago, discovered the bones of small people in a cave called Liang Bua. The bones represented several individuals that were only 3’ 6” tall (A l …
Filed under: Africa, Asia, Biogeography, Cenozoic, Field Guide, Flores, Fossils, Homo erectus, Human evolution, Indonesia, Lord of the Rings, Mammals, Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, Pleistocene, hobbit, human
Episode 7 Field Guide: Walking through Whale Evolution
Whales are spectacularly specialized mammals that seem perfectly adapted to their marine habitat. Plenty of other mammals have gone back to the water, but whales take it to a whole new level. No back legs, weird ear bones, nose on top of the head. What could the land-based ancestor of whales have possibly looked like? Is there a fossil record of walking whales? In this episode we discover whales b …
Episode 6 Field Guide: Tiny Horses, Galloping Crocs, and Fossilized Jungles
Fossils can be pretty scrappy. The best, most complete stuff is usually put on display at museums and photographed for books and websites, but a vast majority of material collected by paleontologists are fragments: slivers of teeth, fragments of shells, and splinters of bone. Paleontologists are trained to glean as much as they can from the patchy record, but the fragments can still leave a lot of …