Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earths Largest Animals

Paperback | October 11, 2012

bySharon Levy

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Until about 13,000 years ago, North America was home to a menagerie of massive mammals. Mammoths, camels, and lions walked the ground that has become Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and foraged on the marsh land now buried beneath Chicago's streets. Then, just as the first humans reached theAmericas, these Ice Age giants vanished forever.In Once and Future Giants, science writer Sharon Levy digs through the evidence surrounding Pleistocene large animal ("megafauna") extinction events worldwide, showing that understanding this history - and our part in it - is crucial for protecting the elephants, polar bears, and other greatcreatures at risk today. These surviving relatives of the Ice Age beasts now face the threat of another great die-off, as our species usurps the planet's last wild places while driving a warming trend more extreme than any in mammalian history. Deftly navigating competing theories and emergingevidence, Once and Future Giants examines the extent of human influence on megafauna extinctions past and present, and explores innovative conservation efforts around the globe. The key to modern-day conservation, Levy suggests, may lie fossilized right under our feet.

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Until about 13,000 years ago, North America was home to a menagerie of massive mammals. Mammoths, camels, and lions walked the ground that has become Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and foraged on the marsh land now buried beneath Chicago's streets. Then, just as the first humans reached theAmericas, these Ice Age giants vanished for...

Sharon Levy is a freelance science writer who specializes in making natural resource and conservation issues accessible for a broad audience. She is a contributing editor at OnEarth magazine and writes regularly for National Wildlife, BioScience, and New Scientist. Her work has appeared in Nature, Natural History, Audubon, High Country...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:October 11, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019993116X

ISBN - 13:9780199931163

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Elegy for the Mastodon2. Mammoth Tracks3. Giants Down Under4. Wild Dreams5. Wild Realities6. The Big Heat7. Dead Beasts WalkingReferencesIndex