Title End of the Megafauna
Subtitle The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals
Author Ross D E MacPhee , Illustrator: Peter Schouten
ISBN 9780393249293
List price USD 35.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 256
Book size 210 x 274 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“An informative, up-to-date overview of a fascinating period in Earth’s history.”

Science News


“Marvellous...brilliantly served by the superb illustrations of Australian artist Peter Schouten....A compelling, sometimes demanding and scientifically rigorous detective story.”

— Christopher Hart, Sunday Times (UK)


“I’ve always wanted to meet a glyptodon, or maybe a toxodon, or even a Giant Irish Deer. Why settle for fauna when you can have megafauna made easy? Ross D. E. MacPhee is a fabulous writer. His End of the Megafauna is a spectacularly illustrated and captivating whodunit exploring the greatest of extinction mysteries. A mixture of oddball observations, anecdotes, and true science, with all of those questions you’ve always wanted to ask an expert—’Why do species decline?’ ‘Why do extinctions occur?’ ‘Is it all our fault?’ ‘Can we expect no better for ourselves?’ Why risk time travel to the Pleistocene when you can read this book? I highly recommend it.”

— Errol Morris, author of The Ashtray


“A lively and smart tour of the various theories of why so many large-bodied animals disappeared around 11,700 years ago. Drawing from his decades of personal involvement in the debate, Ross D. E. MacPhee explores the assumptions, arguments, and misconceptions about the roles of humans, a changing climate, and other possible causes for the disappearance of the megafauna. With vivid prose matched by Peter Schouten’s equally vivid illustrations, the reader is transported back in time to a world that is both foreign and familiar, and emerges with a better understanding of how our actions as humans impact the world around us.”

— Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth


“Adds thoughtful fuel to a scholarly debate that shows no signs of ending.”

— Kirkus


“This is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject of animal extinctions, in the present or the past.” — Publishers Weekly


“MacPhee’s research, combined with award-winning artist Schouten’s illustrations, makes for a book that will fascinate and draw attention to the loss of these interesting and unusual species.”

— Booklist


The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth.

Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller—including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more—roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone.

What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses.

Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna—and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.


Preface: Lost In Near Time 


Chapter 1. Big 

Chapter 2. “This Sudden Dying Out” 

Chapter 3. The World Before Us 

Chapter 4. The Hominin Diaspora

Chapter 5. Explaining Near Time Extinctions: First Attempts

Chapter 6. Paul Martin And The Planet Of Doom: Overkill  Ascendant 

Chapter 7. Action And Reaction 

Chapter 8. Overkill Now 

Chapter 9. Where Are The Bodies, And Other Objections To Overkill 

Chapter 10. More Objections: Betrayal From Within? 

Chapter 11. Other Ideas: The Search Continues 

Chapter 12. Extinction Matters


Epilogue: Can The Megafauna Live Again?

Appendix: Dating Near Time 





Cited Guide To Additional Reading


Credits And Attributions


About the Author:

Ross D. E. MacPhee is a paleomammalogist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he has worked since 1988. He has conducted more than fifty expeditions in many parts of the world, including both polar regions. In addition to numerous scientific papers, he is the author of Race to the End: Amundsen, Scott, and the Attainment of the South Pole (2010) and the editor of Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences (1999).

About the Illustrator:

Peter Schouten is a self-taught and trained artist who works primarily in the field of natural history illustration. He has illustrated many award-winning books and his artworks have been collected by museums and galleries around the globe. In 2015 he was awarded the title Member of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his contributions to the development of Australian arts and sciences.

Target Audience:

Students and academicians of Zoology.


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