North America during the late Pleistocene: a pack of dire wolves (red hair) are feeding bison while a pair of grey wolves approach in the hopes of scavenging.
Our research shows dire wolves lived in the tropics not the Arctic, and were not especially close relatives of the grey wolf.
Several theories have suggested either humans, climate change or both drove megafauna extinctions in Southeast Asia. Our newest work suggests otherwise.
Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico.
Devlin A. Gandy
Stone tools found in a cave in Mexico have archaeologists rewriting the human history of the Americas.
The extinct Mukupirna - which translates to ‘big bones’ - is estimated to have been more than four times larger than any living wombat.
Life and death in tropical Australia, 40,000 years ago. Giant reptiles ruled northern Australia during the Pleistocene with mega-marsupials as their prey.
Image Credit: R. Bargiel, V. Konstantinov, A. Atuchin & S. Hocknull (2020). Queensland Museum.
These megafauna were the largest land animals to live in Australia since the time of the dinosaurs.
Unlike mammoths, bison survived in Alaska at the end of the last ice age.
The historical record is full of surprises – and it could encourage conservationists to think more creatively.
Overhunting of megafauna such as mammoths may have force us to take up farming, ultimately leading to modern society
When freshwater dried up, so did many megafauna species.
Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
A drying climate and the arrival of people together finished off Australia’s megafauna.
Extinction of the woolly mammoth and other megafauna caused surviving animals to go their separate ways.
After the woolly mammoth and other megafauna became extinct, surviving animals mingled less. This has big implications for modern conservation.
Hippos at Gorongosa National Park.
Brett Kuxhausen, Author provided
Long-standing assumption that humans killed large mammals 4.5m years ago has been debunked by researchers – but some experts still think humans played a part in the demise of biodiversity
A modern mouse lemur
Microcebus sits upon the cranium of an extinct Megaladapis lemur.
Dao Van Hoang www.daovanhoang.com
A series of new studies sheds light on the population crash and extinction of the giant birds, lemurs and more that roamed the island until around A.D. 700-1000.
: Alex McClelland, Bournemouth University
How we discovered ancient footprints of early human hunters and their megafauna prey.
Present day Emperor penguins like this would have been dwarfed by the giant find.
Scientists in New Zealand have discovered an extinct penguin known as Kumimanu biceae that was 1.77m tall.
Gone since 1936, and ailing since long before that.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The new Tasmanian tiger genome reveals some fascinating facts about this extinct marsupial, including why they were so similar to dogs, and how they were growing more vulnerable to genetic disease.
An impression of what it could have looked like: a giant lizard, Megalania, stalks a herd of migrating Diprotodon, while a pair of massive megafaunal kangaroos look on.
Studies of the fossil teeth of the three-tonne Diprotodon have revealed the now-extinct beast was Australia’s only known seasonally migrating marsupial.
Giant sloths: killed by rainy weather?
A burst of wet weather could have helped to kill off mammoths and other large herbivores, by transforming much of the world’s grasslands into bogs and forests and depriving megafauna of food.
What it could have looked like when humans and megafauna lived together: a giant macropod
Procoptodon goliah in the foreground, while Thylacinus cynocephalus hunts for prey nearby. A herd of Zygomaturus can be see on the lake edge of the ancient Willandra system.
Illustration by Laurie Beirne
The extinction of the giant reptiles, marsupials and birds that once called Australia home has been the subject of much debate, including the role early Australians may have had on their fate.
Diprotodon, the largest ever marsupial, probably died out at human hands.
Peter Murray (courtesy of Chris Johnson)
What killed off Australia’s giant wombats and other megafauna? New dating once again points the finger at human hunters, rather than abrupt changes to the climate.
An artist’s reconstruction of what the giant bird Dromornis would look like. Genyornis would be similar but slightly smaller.
Our entire knowledge of one of Australia’s extinct ancient giant birds is flawed because experts have been looking at remnants of the wrong egg the whole time.
Abrupt warming events may have helped kill off megafauna species like the mammoth.
AAP Image/James Shrimpton
New research challenges previously held views that the Ice Age, giant biblical floods or hunting by humans were the key drivers behind the disappearance of megafauna.