Headline of the Week

From Arthur Wilderson: “Swedish flamingoes massacred in frenzied anteater attack”.

It is actually true if a bit breathless…

Prompted by this and perhaps the recent Zoo posts, Arthur added some thoughts on a distant relative, the ground-dwelling late- Pleistocene monster Megatherium:

“I saw a mounted megatherium skeleton in Chicago’s Field Museum. I was pretty impressed, and then thought, “yep, that’s what they invented atlatls for.” Trees, people, bears… I could readily imagine it backhanding any serious problem across the room with little difficulty.

“The notion of gutting and butchering a beast with such enormously robust bones and such a deep, massive torso with just little hand axes was fairly daunting too. Definitely a job for all the men, women and children in the band, well, those that aren’t standing guard to discourage the attention that all that blood and offal would inevitably attract.”

Speaking of which, the new crash- of- the- megafauna book, Once and Future Giants by Sharon Levy, is good– much on the late great Paul Martin, though it goes well beyond his original thoughts and refines them. Apparently his fascination with the late Pleistocene started when a mentor put a ball of giant sloth dung in his hand– as he did to me.

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