This Lovely Mural Offers a Slice of Pleistocene Life

Behold the amazing megafauna that roamed the Americas over 15 thousand years ago. There's a family of mastodons, some American horses (yes, they evolved in the Americas!), and even a curious tapir. » 6/04/14 8:32pm 6/04/14 8:32pm

Why did supersized coyotes suddenly shrink 10,000 years ago?

Just 11,500 years ago, coyotes were about 1.5 times as big as they are today. By 10,000 years ago, they had shrunk to their current proportions. What could have made these predators get so much smaller, so quickly? » 2/28/12 4:51pm 2/28/12 4:51pm

Where did the giant mammals of the ice age come from?

The most recent ice age was dominated by gigantic mammals like the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, and saber-tooth cat. But there's an evolutionary mystery here. How did these animals enter the ice age already perfectly adapted for such brutally cold climates? » 9/01/11 11:26am 9/01/11 11:26am

This ancient giant wombat was as big as an SUV

This pleasant-looking fellow is diprotodon optatum, a giant marsupial that lived in Australia for millions of years. We've now discovered the first complete skeleton of this marsupial, proving the only things more bizarre than Australian animals are ancient Australian animals. » 7/06/11 10:40am 7/06/11 10:40am

The Pleistocene Reenactment Society

Jeff and Andrea wanted to do it right. Be authentic. They got their hands and legs modified right before Solstice, and set out for the Pleistocene preserve soon after. By the time they arrived, Jeff could already walk on his knuckles. » 6/23/11 8:00am 6/23/11 8:00am

A brief history of bears fighting lions

Tens of thousands of years ago, the caves of central Europe were full of two species: the aptly named cave bears and cave lions. Even bigger than their modern counterparts, these ancient monsters were locked in deadly battle for survival. » 5/24/11 3:58pm 5/24/11 3:58pm

A rare glimpse of an American tragedy that took place 11,500 years ago

Over eleven millennia ago, a group of early Americans built a roomy summer home along the shores of the Upward Sun River in central Alaska. They fished, hunted small game, and ate dinners of meat and vegetables cooked over a large fire at the center of their house. Anthropologists who discovered the remains of the… » 2/24/11 2:20pm 2/24/11 2:20pm

Where once the giant wombat roamed, only footprints remain

These 100,000-year-old footprints were left by a giant wombat, one species of megafauna among many that once roamed Australia. Now artists have created portraits of these lost megafauna for National Geographic, and you can see some below. » 9/17/10 11:25pm 9/17/10 11:25pm

A park in the Netherlands that recreates the Pleistocene

In the Oostvaardersplassen, a wildlife preserve in the Netherlands, the Pleistocene lives again. Herds of wild horses and cattle roam the region, just as they might have - along with woolly mammoths - 20 thousand years ago. » 6/07/10 8:30am 6/07/10 8:30am