The Island of Shrinking Mammoths How the Chalicothere Split In Two 2 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

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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 1059 Comments

FreyjaTheWarrior
I was very confused, I thought you guys were talking about the English Channel Islands.
Viscera Trocar
Is that the lady from The Richest?
Muheet
I think the Mammoth was hunted by a giant eagle n was dropped on the island
Brastius
If it's small, is it still a mammoth?
Alexander Tso
It's worth mentioning that even humans have pygmy populations. Such tribes exist today in Africa and Melanesia; we also had pygmy cousins in the form of Homo Floresiensis (on Flores Island, Indonesia), which may have lived as recently as 18,000 years ago!
SMOrcerino kriperino
smelling food and water , wait a second
Bryant Susilo
Well today there is a dwarf species of elephant called the borneo elephant
alyluz olofernes
how did the mammoths get to santarosea they built boats
Little Reuby
interesting fact, elephants can smell water underground and even smell rain when it is days away..We can smell it only a few minutes before it starts..also their feet act as wifi..able to pick up vibrations from other elephants kilometers away..so when poachers kill an elephant and it cries, the other elephants in the area will know one of their own is about to die and the threat of danger..
Jeremy Wiles
Maybe do a video on how this rule applied to the dinosaurs discovered by Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás, or even a video on Franz himself.
Kieran Peters
All these comments and none of them mention Vlogbrothers
Ellie Ernsteen
California was drier than it is today? It must have been a desert
BennyB5555
If humans hunted them I would think that the mammoths could have tried to “swim” back to the mainland.
Jahmen Boyboy
Aw the pygmy's are so cute and adorable why did they go extinct?


Because we are the ultimate predators and we eat almost anything.
VAcreeper2000
Island dwarfing..
Michael Edward Hunter
The theory that humans were responsable for the extinction of the mammoths doesn't take into consideration the fact that a host of other animals also went extinct, including many large carnivores. All this seems to indicate the involvement of natural forces far greater than us.
cheah lionel
Mini mammoth
Jackson Porter
Great to see the Channel Islands talked about by one of my favorite channels
Aladato
We just need to look at dogs to understand how fast size can change from the original ancestor.
Demi Ajomale
When is the new video
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How the Chalicothere Split In Two The Island of Shrinking Mammoths 2 months ago   07:58

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Two extinct relatives of horses and rhinos are closely related to each other but have strikingly different body plans. How did two of the same kind of animal, living in the same place, end up looking so different?

Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the very cool Anisodon reconstruction. Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at http://alphynix.tumblr.com and http://nixillustration.com
And thanks as always to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart: http://spinops.blogspot.com/
Finally, thanks to Dmitry Bogdanov, Roman Uchytel, Ryan Somma and Julio Lacerda for their excellent images as well.

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

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