The Island of Shrinking Mammoths Life, Sex & Death Among the Dire 6 months ago   12:15

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The mammoths fossils found on the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California are much smaller than their relatives found on the mainland. They were so small that they came to be seen as their own species. How did they get there? And why were they so small?

Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the mammoth reconstructions throughout this episode. Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at http://alphynix.tumblr.com and http://nixillustration.com

Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the Palaeoloxodon illustrations. You can find more of Julio's work here: https://252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, Renzo Caimi Ordenes, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Marilyn Wolmart, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, سلطان الخليفي, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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References:
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1940&context=usgsstaffpub
https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/jart/prj3/nhm/data/uploads/mitarbeiter_dokumente/goehlich/2016/Semprebon_et_al_2016%20Dietary%20reconstruction%20of%20pygmy%20mammoths%20from%20Santa%20Rosa%20Island%20California.pdf
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288262862_A_late_Pleistocene_pollen_record_from_San_Miguel_Island_California_preliminary_results
“Extreme expansion of the olfactory receptor gene repertoire in African elephants and evolutionary dynamics of orthologous gene groups in 13 placental mammals.” Niimura Y, Matsui A, Touhara K. 2014.
https://web.archive.org/web/20060508113748/http://www.cq.rm.cnr.it/elephants2001/pdf/473_475.pdf
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104061821100190X
https://kundoc.com/pdf-on-the-importance-of-stratigraphic-control-for-vertebrate-fossil-sites-in-channe.html
https://www.app.pan.pl/archive/published/app61/app001362014.pdf  
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2844657?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents  
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.541.6488&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Evolution of Island Mammals: Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands by Alexandra van der Geer, George Lyras, John de Vos and Michael Dermitzakis.
Niimura Y, Matsui A, Touhara K. 2014. Extreme expansion of the olfactory receptor gene repertoire in African elephants and evolutionary dynamics of orthologous gene groups in 13 placental mammals. Genome Res doi: 10.1101/gr.169532.113
https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/jart/prj3/nhm/data/uploads/mitarbeiter_dokumente/goehlich/2016/Semprebon_et_al_2016%20Dietary%20reconstruction%20of%20pygmy%20mammoths%20from%20Santa%20Rosa%20Island%20California.pdf
"Sea level, paleogeography, and archeology on California's Northern
Channel Islands," by Reeder-Myers et al. 2015.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1940&context=usgsstaffpub
https://web.archive.org/web/20060508113748/http://www.cq.rm.cnr.it/elephants2001/pdf/473_475.pdf
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.896.6234&rep=rep1&type=pdf
https://kundoc.com/pdf-on-the-importance-of-stratigraphic-control-for-vertebrate-fossil-sites-in-channe.html
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104061821100190X
http://natural-history.uoregon.edu/research/paleocoastal-research-project/santarosae-island
https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/jart/prj3/nhm/data/uploads/mitarbeiter_dokumente/goehlich/2016/Semprebon_et_al_2016%20Dietary%20reconstruction%20of%20pygmy%20mammoths%20from%20Santa%20Rosa%20Island%20California.pdf
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1940&context=usgsstaffpub

Comments 1007 Comments

Hobnob Head
I want to know about these Swans that hunt Elephants! 😂
Rajan Rao
what about the island scrub-jay
kurokuyo
Why did the Mammoth swim to the island? The grass was greener.
matthew ulrich
2:40 sounds like global warming happened over and over those mega mammals farted too much !!!!
Carson Joshua Segales
Can foster's rule apply to humans also?? Is this why people like from the philippines are small in size?
Emerson Lamond
at 8:27 you have Norfolk island pines, I don't think they were present in california at this time period
Ryan Holloway
Can do the island of mini dinosaurs of Europe?
kab kab
Tusk!! Tusk!!
srijan saxena
Humans, making species extinct since forever
Cường Quốc
Japaneses before late 20th century
Aether Slugstar
Evolution gets weird on islands.
zoelhek
Smol mammoth
POOH_LY
Mammoths: This place is so safe. There is no predatos here. Such a peaceful island.

Humans: I am about to end this man's whole career.
Peter Edwards
Pigmy elephants also lived on Malta.
Dirt Girl
all of the mammoths look so sweet and friendly
Jaycob Bailey
Treetrunks!
Alexandria
u think the mammoths were like "hey i dare you to swim out to that island" "no way, you do it with me" "ok fine"
Danny Kid
It would be cool to do an episode on the waco mammoths
Mark Rowland
The island of Kodiac has a giant breed of Brown bear. My answer, as to which breed of bear is the largest was declared wrong. This lost me $80,000 in a TV quiz some thirty years back.
Grey Wolf
I love the content of these but the presenter's voice makes my teeth ache! Got to go because she's giving me a migraine :(
Add Reply

Life, Sex & Death Among the Dire The Island of Shrinking Mammoths 6 months ago   09:42

This is not a Game of Thrones fan fiction episode. Dire wolves were real! And thousands of them died in the same spot in California. Their remains have taught us volumes about how they lived, hunted, died and way more about any animal’s sex life than you’d ever want to know.

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:
Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, Svetlana Pylaeva, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Wilco Verweij, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Elysha Nygård, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Joshua Mitchell, Johnny Li, Jacob Gerke, Brandon Burke, Alex Yan

If you'd like to support the channel, head over to http://patreon.com/eons and pledge for some cool rewards!

Want to follow Eons elsewhere on the internet?
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References:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314984082_Posttraumatic_chronic_osteomyeltis_in_Stegosaurus_dermal_spikes
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618215002499
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1099-1212%28200011/12%2910%3A6%3C447%3A%3AAID-OA532%3E3.0.CO%3B2-W
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70046371
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018203007739
http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/handle/2246/5999
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1502-3885.1999.tb00227.x
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1844/20161736
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618209002419
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/11/4191
https://www.jstor.org/stable/4524203
https://www.jstor.org/stable/4524553
https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00043.x
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jeb.12340
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282253545_Dental_Microwear_Textures_of_Carnivorans_from_the_La_Brea_Tar_Pits_California_and_Potential_Extinction_Implications
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0131
https://nhm.org/site/sites/default/files/pdf/contrib_science/lacm-42.pdf
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01108.x
https://www.jstor.org/stable/4096974
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18957359