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End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals Hardcover – Illustrated, November 13, 2018

4.5 out of 5 stars 130 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“A first-class example of a fantastic popular science book. The combination of a logical structure, accessible writing, shrewd observations, and beautiful illustrations make it a pleasure to read and impossible to put down.”
- Leon Vlieger, National History Book Service

“An informative, up-to-date overview of a fascinating period in Earth's history.”
- Science News

“Fascinating....The author provides a contemporary and detailed analysis....these now-extinct megabeasts...are beautifully depicted in their preferred habitats in many incredible illustrations by artist Peter Schouten that are a joy to behold.”
- Forbes

“MacPhee explores the current [extinction] hypotheses, weighing up the evidence with academic rigour and delivering it with pop-science clarity. Like all good detective stories there is murder, plenty of intrigue and a cast of memorable characters, brought to life by palaeoartist Peter Schouten. These illustrations, married with MacPhee's easy-to-digest text, make turning each page like discovering a new gallery in an otherwise unimagined museum of fossil delights.”
- Jules Howard, BBC Wildlife

“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)

“What was once extinct is brought vividly to life here....This is a fascinating examination of a long-forgotten past and proof that giant life didn’t end with the dinosaurs. A great gift for those who like their history with bite.”
- How It Works

“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

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

“With flashes of dry humor, paleomammalogist MacPhee....offers an accessible overview of evidence supporting and contradicting popular scientific theories, and Schouten’s...detailed color illustrations of an earlier world will captivate readers.”
- Library Journal

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).

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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.26 pounds
  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0393249298
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0393249293
  • Product Dimensions : 8.3 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated Edition (November 13, 2018)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130 ratings