Jeffersons sloth, megalonyx or (greek) “giant claw” is an extinct genus of ground sloths of the family megalonychidae.

Aside from there deceivingly large cuddly, and playful looks. These critters were native and unique to north America during the pliocene and pleistocene. However, because of not many remains, we don’t know as much as some of the other late pleistocene vertabrates. Like sabretooth tiger or direwolf, who were probably found in areas better suited to decomposition.

Thomas Jefferson recorded fossil bones from this animal that had been recovered from a mining cave in West Virginia in the late eighteenth century. Originally, Jefferson thought the remains belonged to a giant cat, based on the size of the large claws. Soon he realized however, that the animal was closely related to South American tree sloths. In 1797, he presented the scientific paper about his findings on megalonyx, or ‘large claw’ to the American philosophical society. The subject was the first two scientific articles ever published in the North America on fossils. Marking the continental beginning of vertebrate paleontology.

Biology and physical description:
There size was quite large. Bigger than most grizzlys, and flat nosed bears. 4m or 10 feet high. Up to 1000Kg or 2200lb big. They had a blunt snout and massive jaw. Large peg like teeth. There hind limbs were flat footed. And, a stout tail. Its believed this allowed them a rear up semi errect portion to feed on leaves.
Forelimbs had 3 highly developed claws. They were quite long. Up to 15-20 inches. Used to strip trees and tear off branches. (the deceiving part)
As with other sloths, the teeth had an outer layer of dentine, rather than enamel, and thus were softer than those of other mammals. Soft teeth wear faster than hard teeth, and to compensate for this, their teeth continued to grow throughout their lifetime (MacFadden et al. 2010).
Although very few specimens have been recovered with preserved soft tissue, better preserved species of late pleistocene ground sloths (shasta ground sloth) were found. And, it is thought that Jefferson’s ground sloth was similarly covered with thick hair.
Sloth bones are truly strange inside and out. Inside, they are virtually unique in the animal kingdom in the absence of any marrow cavity within their long bones. Instead of marrow, the bones are filled with a honeycomb network of bony struts and braces called trabecular or cancellous bone. This gave the bones great strength without the cost of extra weight. Whether that was necessary because of sloths’ weight, due to a unusually active life-style or just an accident of evolution is unknown.

Habitat: woodlands and forest:
Jefferson’s ground sloth had the widest range of all North American ground sloths. They have been recovered from over 150 sites across the United States, as well as from northwestern Canada and western Mexico (Hoganson and McDonald 2007; McDonald et al. 2000). Furthermore, they are the only ground sloth that has been recovered from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada.
Two recent studies were able to link directly-dated specimens from the terminal pleistocene with regional paleoenvironmental records, demonstrating that these particular animals were associated with spruce dominated, mixed conifer-hardwood habitats. (Hoganson and McDonald 2007; Schubert et al. 2004).
Scarcity in the Great Plains has been noted and interpreted as reflecting the paucity or absence of forested areas, the species’ preferred habitat, within the region. (Hoganson and McDonald 2007).

Habitat: Caves:
Megalonyx jeffersoni remains have been recovered from late Pleistocene sites, primarily caves, across the Midwest. These sites include West Cave and Brynjulfson Cave #1 in central Missouri, a site in the Galena Lead region of northwestern Illinois, the Hanson Megalonyx from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Carter site in western Ohio, Gillenwater near Bowling Green, Kentucky, Robinson Cave in northeastern Tennessee, and Cheek Bend Cave and Darks Mill in central Tennessee.
It is likely several types of habitats were utilized by jefferson’s ground sloth over the course of the Pleistocene.

The first wave of megalonychidae came to North America by island-hopping across the Central American Seaway from South America, where ground sloths arose, prior to formation of the Panamanian land bridge. Based on molecular results, its closest living relatives are the three-toed sloths (Bradypus).

It probably lived solitarily, only getting together for seasonal mating.
While most ground sloths walked on the outsides of their hind feet, Jefferson’s ground sloth kept their feet flat while walking. Furthermore, the shape of the hip bone indicates that this animal could also stand on its hind legs, using its stout tail for support.
During excavations at Tarkio Valley in southwest Iowa, an adult Megalonyx was found in direct association with two juveniles of different ages, suggesting that adults cared for young of different generations.

Teeth shape suggest they were a browser who primarily ate leaves, twigs and possibly nuts. (Kurten and Anderson 1980; McDonald 2005). Isotopic results are consistent with this. (Kohn et al. 2005). Analysis of the bone chemistry of indicate the animal had an herbivorous diet, (France et al. 2007), which is in keeping with a previous study conducted for ‘giant claw’ recovered in Alberta, (Bocherens et al. 1994).

Extinction: The youngest widely-accepted radiocarbon dates are from northern Illinois. Obtained from purified bone collagen. A combined age date of 13,800-13,160 years ago.
(Schubert et al. 2004). A slightly older direct date of 13,830-13,560 cal BP was obtained on a toe bone (ungual) in North Dakota (Hoganson and McDonald 2007).

Bipedal Walking:
How and why humans separated themselves from the other primates and began striding confidently on two legs is a question mankind has asked for thousands of years. Many scientists consider it the single characteristic that put us on the evolutionary path to becoming tool-users and uniquely human. So it was with no little surprise that scientists realized 100 years ago that some ground sloths probably could walk upright also. Why do they do it? What advantage is there that all the rest of the mammals have overlooked? Perhaps the answer can be found by considering the theories of why our human ancestors did.
Some scientists credit changing climate, and expanding savannas offering rich new ecological niches to a species that could climb down and out of the trees. Moving more efficiently and safely to open ground. Standing erect may have also been necessary to see predators approaching.
-Other scientists suggest foraging from the ground and being forced to reach up into the trees for food encouraged our ancestors to remain upright to reduce the effort of repeatedly lifting and lowering their torsos; and,
-Some scientists suggest the benefit of being able to hold things in their hands or arms was the force that put us on the bipedal evolutionary path. They also cite tools, food collection and/or infants needing an extended period of maternal care as the motivating force(s).
No one thinks sloths are as efficient striders as humans became. Then again, no one believes primate ancestors dropped out of trees and started walking. What did you think?
Whatever benefits ancestors reaped from upright standing. It started a long time ago, and improved from there. Studying megalonyx may some day produce new insights into our own evolution. Maybe they wanted to have a better view of the moon and solar system. One things for sure, the world is not the same without megalonyx, jeffersons ground sloth or ‘giant claws.’

Bats are small, flying mammals from the order Chiroptera.

Of the many species found in north American states and Canadian provinces, almost all are insectivores that feed on vast numbers of night-flying insects. This makes them an important part of the ecological community.
In most cases, bats don’t cause problems for home, business owners or farmers. That is because of their nocturnal habits, you will rarely see them. And, because they eat insects, they also provide some control of insect pests in the landscape.

Identification and Biology
Bats frequently use man-made structures such as attics, barns, or bat boxes for roosting sites. Some of the more common species like brown bat you will most likely will find in urban areas.
Bats live 5 to 30 years depending on the species but are among the slowest reproducers for their size of any mammal. For example, the little brown bat, the most frequent user of man made bat habitats, can live for 3 decades with the female giving birth to 1 pup per year.
Problems can occur when migrating bats roost in buildings, usually during warmer months. Their droppings can accumulate, they can make noise, and some people are uncomfortable. Bats can also transmit diseases. Rabies and flues transmitted from droppings being a special concern.

Bats have fir, and provide there young with milk
As mammals, in spring, female bats form colonies to give birth and rear young. Young bats develop rapidly, and most are able to fly within a month or two after birth. Generally males and females with young will roost separately, but in late summer or fall, males might join the colony. In the winter when insects are scarce. Bats might migrate to warmer areas or previous hibernation roosts.

Bats are excellent flyers and navigate using echolocation
During the night, they sense insects, and are able to catch them in flight. Some people install bat homes because they think bats eat and control insect populations like mosquitos.

Public Health Concerns: Bats transmit diseases
Bats maybe beneficial but they can carry diseases to humans and other animals. Never handle bats. Do not breath dust from bat droppings, and vaccinate your dogs and cats against rabies.
It is very important to educate others, especially the young, to never to touch a bat, dead or alive.
Bats guano can accumulate, creating odors, attracting, birds and insects.

More information regarding bats and disease prevention is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system that causes inflammation of the brain, and sometimes the spinal cord. Once symptoms appear, the
disease is almost always fatal. A rabies exposure requires contact with an open wound, abrasion, or mucous membrane—such as the eyes, nose, or mouth—and a rabid animal’s saliva or nervous tissue. Note that rabid bats rarely bite except in self-defense. If you are bitten. Immediately wash the bite with soap and water, and seek prompt medical advice. Be careful.

Fungas histoplasm camsulatum and the respiritory illness Histoplasmosis
The fungus Histoplasma camsulatum capsulatum causes the respiratory illness histoplasmosis. It occurs naturally in the soil in warm, humid areas, and bat and bird droppings enhance its development. It is mostly bird roasts but can all be attracted by bat guano and droppings.

Bat Parasites
Bat ectoparasites are organisms that feed on other animals and include fleas, flies, true bugs, chiggers, ticks, bed bugs and mites. Most bat parasites can’t survive on other animals, or at least without laying eggs and being near the host like fleas or bedbugs.

Sometimes bats get tired. If they are lying on the ground or out in the open during the day they aren’t always sick. Sometimes they’re tired from long migration nights. Leave them alone for an hour or two. If they are in an area where children or animals might touch them, gently scoop the bat into an open box, wearing leather gloves. Move it to a place where no one can come into contact with it.

Temporary roost inspection and removal tip
Sometimes a colony of bats will show up at a house in the spring or fall. Often this is a migratory colony, and it will move on after a few weeks of rest. If the bats are in an area that can be tolerated, such as an outside eave, then wait a few weeks, and once the bats have left, seal the area, so they can’t return.
If you suspect bats are roosting in your building, you’ll need to carefully look for signs of them.
Bats can squeeze through openings as small as 1/4 inch. Cracks around windows, doors, pipes, electrical wiring, or vents can provide access.

Removal from Dwellings
Its usually the young, lost bats that get caught in peoples homes. A panicked human is probably the worst action, as it can cause the bat to hide.
The best action is to isolating the mammal to a single room, where no pets or family members are present. If possible, open doors and windows to the outside, so the bat can escape on its own. If endeavored, you could try placing a small box or coffee can over the bat, and gently slide a piece of cardboard beneath it. Then you can release it outdoors. Wear leather gloves to avoid being bitten.
Most bats you discover indoors will be dying, but some might be roosting or asleep. During cool weather, bats can become torpid; this reduced activity is due to a lowering of their body temperature. Torpid bats might appear to be sick, dead, bare teeth or hiss. A defensive behavior to ward of potential predators. You can gently scrape a torpid bat into a can or box, cover the can, allow the bat to warm up safety, then release outside.

Excluding Single Bats
Bats can enter through open doors or windows. Other common entry points include chimneys. Place 1/2-inch or smaller welded wire mesh over chimney tops. Try sealing holes that are 1/2 inch or larger in diameter, or cracks that are 1/4 by 1–1/2 inches or larger. You can close openings around plumbing pipes by using steel wool or other suitable material.

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The neolithic age came rather late to different regions of earth. Especially in the north.

To one, during the Weichselian glaciation, almost 115,000 till about 11,700 years ago. Scandinavia begin the deep unfreezing from ice cover.

It is decided that, in Denmark, the Ice Age finally ended about 9,700 years ago. About 15,000 to 13,000 BC years ago. The ice sheet, that covered almost all of Scandinavia, slowly began to melt away.

The reindeer walked to the north followed by the reindeer hunters.
As the ice receded, reindeer, and what was left of pleistocene megafauna grazed the emerging tundra plains of Denmark and southernmost Sweden. This was the era of nomadic cultures who hunted in vast territories. Some that spanned over 100,000 square km. They explored and lived as nomads in huts and teepees. Mostly following the reindeer migrations and wildlife across the barren tundra landscapes. As well, following salmon, cod, seals and whatever aquatic creatures they could find.

It was the finish of a great ice age. At the end of the pleistocene, the climate slowly warmed up. Fighting what little warmth, food, and shelter was available. Nomadic hunters from central Europe slowly started becoming accustom to the Scandanavian region. And, traveling back and forth to where weather was more suitable. It was around 12,000 BCE, when many glaciers were melting, that permanent, nomadic, habitation begin in the region.
This barren land, there was not much plant cover, except for occasional arctic white birch and rowan. Slowly but surely, eventually a taiga forest appeared. Around 11,400 BCE, the Bromme culture emerged in Southern Scandinavia. This was a more rapidly warming era providing opportunity for other substantial hunting game animals than the ubiquitous reindeer. As former hunter-gather cultures, the Bromme culture was still largely dependent on reindeer and lived a nomadic life. Their camps diversified significantly and they were the first people to settle Southern Scandinavia (and the Southern Baltic area), on a permanent, yet still nomadic, basis.

Local climate changes, around 10,500 BCE, initiated both cultural changes, and the first settling of the northern parts of Scandinavia.
Initially, a thousand-year-long climate cool-down replaced the taiga with tundra and the local culture reverted to former traditions, focusing on reindeer hunting. This culture is now referred to as the Ahrensburg culture.
Around 9,500 BCE, the local climate warmed yet again, and the pre-Boreal era emerged, which triggered the Ahrensburg to settle the emerging tundra of northern Scandinavia. For the next two thousand years, the climatic phase known as the Boreal reigned in the Scandinavian region.

A culture called the Maglemosian (Maglemose) culture lived in the areas of Denmark and southern Sweden around 7200BCE, or 9200 years ago. To the north, in Norway, and along the coast of western Sweden, the Fosna-Hensbacka culture was living mostly in changing seasonal camps. Along the shores and close to the now thriving forests. By the 7th millennium BCE, the climate in Scandinavia was warming as it transitioned from the former Boreal age to the Atlantic period. Reindeer and their hunters had already migrated and inhabited the lands of northern Scandinavia, and forests had established. Utilizing fire, boats and stone tools, these tribal cultures managed to survive in northern Europe. The northerners followed the herds and the salmon runs, moving south during the winters, moving north again during the summers. These early peoples followed cultural traditions. Similar to those practiced throughout other regions in the far north. Areas including modern Finland, Russia, and across the Bering Strait into the northernmost strip of North America. Comprising portions of today’s Alaska and Canada.

6,400 to 5,400 BCE (8,400 to 7,400 years before present). Kongemose culture, was the southern Scandanavian culture that followed maglemosian or maglemose. They acted as stewards for the aurochs, wisent, moose and red deer that roamed freely in the forests. All were game for tribes of what is now called northern culture. Like their predecessors, the Kongemose tribes also hunted marine animals such as seals. And, they fished in the rich shallow waters. North of the Kongemose people, lived other hunter-gatherers in most of southern Norway and Sweden, now dubbed the Nøstvet and Lihult cultures. Who are descendants of the Fosna and Hensbacka cultures. By the end of the 6th millennium BCE, as the sea levels rose gradually, these northerly tribal cultures continued their way of life. While the Kongemose culture was replaced by the Ertebølle culture. Adapting to climatic changes and flooding in their low lying southern regions, some areas were affected more severely.

By the 6th millennium BCE, the climate of Scandinavia was generally warmer and more humid than today. The southern regions were clad in lush temperate broadleaf and mixed forests.

During the 5th millennium BCE, the Ertebølle people learned pottery from neighbouring tribes in the south, who had begun to cultivate the land and keep animals. Soon, they too started to cultivate the land and, ca. 4000 BCE, they became part of the megalithic Funnelbeaker culture. During the 4th millennium BCE, these Funnelbeaker tribes expanded into Sweden up to Uppland. The Nøstvet and Lihult tribes (northern scandanavians) learned new technology from the advancing farmers, but not agriculture, and became the Pitted Ware cultures, towards the end of the 4th millennium BCE. These Pitted Ware tribes halted the advance of the farmers and pushed them south into south-western Sweden. Some say that the farmers were not killed or chased away, but that they voluntarily joined the Pitted Ware culture and became part of them. At least one settlement appears to be mixed, the Alvastra pile-dwelling.

3rd millennium bc: Proto indo european
Though the introduction of the proto indo europeans in northern Europe is still debated. By the 3rd millennium bce (before common era) it is agreed the northerners were over run. The language these early Scandinavians spoke is unknown, but towards the end of the 3rd millennium BCE, they were in the north. New tribes, who many scholars believe spoke proto-indo-European were the Corded Ware culture. They became known as the Battle-Axe culture in Scandinavia.
This new people advanced up to Uppland and the Oslofjord, and they probably provided the Proto-Germanic language that was the ancestor of the modern Scandinavian languages. These new tribes used the battle axe as a status symbol, were cattle herders and big change had begun.

Ultimately, the neolithic age led to the copper and bronze age(s). It would usher in a time of cultural advancement, strength and environmental change in Scandinavia.

Sources: Dalum Hjallese Debate club,, national geographic, wikipedia,, and

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In greek, teratornis merriami, teratornis woodburnensis and maybe even a teratornis olsoni from Cuba are known as “wonder birds”

Terratornis was a genus of huge North American birds of prey.

1) Teratornis merriami: Because of the numbers foud at Rancho La Brae and the tar pits, is is by far the most researched species. Over a hundred specimens have been found. It stood about almost 30inches (or 75cm) tall with estimated wingspan of almost 3.8 metres (11.5 to 12.5 ft). Its weight has been estimated at 10 to 15 kilos.
2) Teratornis woodburnensis: In 1999, at Legion Park, Woodburn, Oregon. Parts of the teratornis woodburnesis were found. There was a humerus,
parts of the cranium, beak, sternum, and vertebrae. Scientists were able to estimate a wingspan of over 4 meters (14 ft). The find dated
to about 12,000 years ago, during the late pleistocene. In combination with this ‘wonder bird’ find. A stratum containing remains of megafauna such as mammoth, mastodon, ground sloths, and early human occupantion was discovered at the site.
3) Another form, “Teratornis” olsoni, was described from the Pleistocene of Cuba, but its affinities are not completely resolved; it might not be a teratorn, but has also been placed in its own genus, Oscaravis. There are also undescribed fossils from southwestern Ecuador, but apart from these forms, teratorns were restricted to North America.

Even when as large as these 4 meter wing spans (almost 15 feet). Bird fossils are very hard to find. It took ten thousand years for scientists to identify the hundreds of teratornis fossils mostly from California, Oregon, southern Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.

As in all modern birds, finger bones of ‘wonder birds’ were fused. Though, part of there index finger formed a shelf. It aided in hard take offs, and not when availably enabled to utilize drafts of strong upcurrents. Their legs were strong, there feet could hold prey and tear off pieces. Though, its believed there short length was not quite as forceful as some other birds of prey. Teratorns (or ‘wonder birds’) should have been able to take off by simply jumping and beating there wings. Because its legs were smaller, it seems to have been batter adapted for utilizing a short run into the wind, or off a large tree, ledge or cliff, as some other height point like birds do. They probably inhabited cliffs and rugged terrain, where they could take off and soar through the air easily.

Paleobiology, Diet and Feeding Habits
Analysis of functional morphology of skull, its larger bill and ability to spread its mandibles and swallow its prey whole. Suggest it was an active and carnivorous predator rather than a scavenger. Similar to condors. Other viewpoints note that like many old world vultures that possess large bills. It allowed them to probe deeper into large carcasses.
Small and sideward facing eyes and there low skull are also consistent with a scavenging lifestyle. For these crazy birds, small prey such as
frogs, lizards, snakes, young birds, and rodents were swallowed whole. Larger mammels or carion would have been fed on similar to condors or

An analysis of the teratornis pelvic area and stout; and, columnar hind leg bones suggests that its legs had greater anteroposterior ability than condors. And, that they were agily, well-suited for walking and stalking prey on the ground. More similarl to storks and turkeys.
Opposite, their flight was similar to that of condors. The large condor birds fly by means of soaring on rising up-currents. Generally weak currents are subject to sudden changes in strength and direction. Their ability to react to these, sometimes sudden current changes, and maintain flight is essential. Contrary to some other birds who rely more on current. There ability to deal with wind, draft, and current changes. Has to do with their emarginated primary feathers. Which can separate, adapt and move independently during flight. Because of there size, they needed it.

Wonderbirds legs are quite short for it to take flight by just running on flat ground like some birds do. Because of this it has been hypothisied teratornis started at heights where it could take off, flap its large wings a few times, and soar through the air easily.
These birds were thought to have been attracted to tar pits by struggling Pleistocene megafauna. Cats, mammoth, sloth and other fauna were attracted to the water that would pool on top of the tar. The teratorns sometimes would fight, or struggle with they megafauna and fall victim to the sludgy deposits. Yikes.
At the tar or sludge deposits, vultures and other birds were also present. Teratornis would have been also adapted to hunt for smaller animals which also would had been around the pools.

Like eagles, skull and bill shape analysis identifys that fish may have also constituted a large portion of the ‘wonder birds’ diet. Though not quite as developed as an eagles legs. Fish are slippery and can be large. They had strong legs, stout claws, and gripping power. Its more likely they hunted like osprey, which also explains why it was significant at Rancho La Brae. They were probably fighting or struggling with pleistocene megafauna, as well as other birds.

Perhaps the Teratornis or ‘wonder bird’, are what some native Americans, aboriginals, and people spoke of mythologically. And, about a thunder-bird. No matter what the cause these were some big birds. Lets hear it for the giant north American bird of prey. Teratornis’s. Your wonder bird.

In 1867, in a field in Denmark, a little boy discovered something magical. Hindsgavl Dagger is Hindsgavldolken

It was immediately brought to the property managers attention. He offered the boy the equivelant of 90 dollars, and he couldn’t refuse. The manager then gifted it to the owner of the estate.  Basse Fonss of Hinsgavl Manor.

Hingsgavl manor was apart of the Hindsgavl. It’s the pieces of land that connect Frederica and Middlefart (centre of Denmark).

As the Exposition Universelle at Paris approached in 1889. Danish collectors realized they needed something big. The museum never lent out objects but always sent copies.  Since Hindsgavldolken was private owned, Basse Fonss was approached. He agreed to lend it out. 

After the Exposition universelle, the museum and collectors were so impressed with its attraction and features. They made Basse an offer he couldn’t refuse.   

Production of stone daggers continued into the bronze age. Especially in the north. It’s believed this dagger was produced around 4000 years ago. It is almost 30cm long, and the blade thickness is less than 1cm. It shines a beautiful black and brown.

Did you know? The 100 krone danish bank note (about 15.5$ usd) features Hindsgavldolken, or Hindsgavl Dagger.

In local Inuktitut language, the arctic ground squirrel is known from the thril it emits when being threatened “t’sik-t’sik”

Found in the Arctic and Subarctic of North America and Asia. Arctic ground squirrel is mostly identified as Urocitellus parryii; or, in Inuktitut: ᓯᒃᓯᒃ, siksik.   

People in Alaska, particularly around the Aleutians, refer to them as “par’kee” squirrels.    Most likely because they are easy to snare, shoot or trap. There pelt is also relatively easy to skin. Those little firs bridge together good, for the attractive collar on many jackets and clothing.

There are 10 Subspecies:
        U. p. ablusus Osgood, 1903
        U. p. kennicottii Ross, 1861   
        U. p. kodiacensis Ross, 1861
        U. p. leucostictus Brandt, 1844
        U. p. lyratus Hall and Gilmore, 1932
        U. p. nebulicola Osgood, 1903
        U. p. osgoodi Merriam, 1900
        U. p. parryii Richardson, 1825
        U. p. plesius Osgood, 1900
        U. p. stejnegeri J. A. Allen, 1903
(Source wikipedia jan 2023)

Arctic squirrels have a beige and tan coat with a white-spotted back. There face is a little shorter with small ears, a dark tail and white markings around its eyes.
From summer to winter there coats change to red and yellow colorations, along with the cheeks and sides of the animal. In the fall, these patches are replaced with silverish fur.

Size: The average adult length is around 39 cm (15 in). Adult females are close to 750 g (26 oz). Males are around 100 g (3.5 oz) heavier.  Because of the cold and sometimes sparse climate, is difficult to give a year round average mass.

‘Par’kee’ or the “t’sik-t’sik” thriling squirrels are native to the arctic tundra. Mountain slopes, river flats, banks, lakeshores and tundra ridges. They live in sandy soil due to easy digging and good drainage.  The shallow burrows are in areas where the permafrost does not prevent them from digging. Arctic squirrels can excavate near the permafrost. And, greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide can be emitted.

Prey: arctic fox, red fox, wolverine, lynx, bear, eagles even pine marten have been known to snack on arctic squirrel.

They wake up in the spring hungry. Par’kee” squirrels feeds on grasses, sedges, mushrooms, bog rushes, bilberries, willows, roots, stalks, leaves, leaf buds, flowers, catkins, and seeds. They will also feed on insects, and are opportunists. Occasionally they will even feed on dead warm blooded creatures such as mice, snowshoe hares, caribou and other squirrels. In the late summer, the arctic ground squirrel begin to store food in its burrow so it has food when it wakes up in the spring.

Did you know? A squirrels ability to hiberate is being studied for better preservation of human organ transplant, and connection between brain, heart and muscle cells.

Arctic squirrels heart rate drops significantly during hibernation compared to when there out in the spring and summer. “T’sik t’sik” (thril noise). Your noticed. Sometimes as much as 100-200 beats per minute.  There blood is special too.  When asleep arctic squirrel body temperature have been recorded as low as −3 °C (27 °F).   Somehow they emit ice nucleators which are necessary for the development of ice crystals. In the absence of them (ice nucleators), body fluids can remain liquid while in frigid state. ‘Par’kee’ or arctic squirrels, along with marmot and little brown bat are one of the few small arctic animals that can hibernate.   

The arctic squirrel have been recorded in the north tens of thousands of years.  It is not yet extinct. Let hear it for our loud little thriling friend.

Discovered around 1904, nothrotheriops shastensis is the Shasta ground sloth. Giving you the fancy name and statistics you see here today.

In northern California, paleontologist William Sinclair is believed to identified nothrotheriops shastensis fossils during an exploration at Potter Creek Cave. These first identified fossils included a incomplete mandibular ramus, 14 molars, and a few other bits and pieces. They were sent to the university of California museum of Paleontology giving us the name and statistics you see today.

Fossil remains of nothrotheriops shastensis have also been found in Anza-Borrego Desert, Rancho La Brea, and Del Mar. Fossilized remains of the genus nothrotheriops (not identified as to species) have also been found in National City and Sonora, Mexico. It is believed nothrotheriops shastensis evolved in south America around 35 million years ago, and migrated into north America, starting around 8 million years ago. Wow. That’s a lot.

Did you know? Fossils of sloths in caves are somewhat a unknown. Some scientists have proposed that the caves were used as nurseries, since fossils from juvenile sloths have been found there. Yet another theory suggests that sloths used caves as a source for special minerals in their diets. Like iron, calcium, or? Even scientists have purposed sloths getting stuck in caves or defending themselves from envious smilodon, scimitar, mountain bear, or group of dire wolf or lions.

Shasta ground sloth from La Bre’s tar pits 1199

In the 1930s, large amounts of Shasta ground sloth were discovered in La Brae’s tar pits. As indicated by the tons and tons of fossils. It probably attracted many other predators and friends there. Almost all Shasta ground sloths remains have been found in the west. Especially in the American southwest.

Description, build and size:
250 kilograms (551 lb) in weight. About 2.75 metres (or 9.0 ft) from snout to tail tip length.
Current living relatives include the tree sloths, and more distantly the anteaters, and armadillos.

Did you know? Large hyoid bones in some sloths’ throats suggest that some may have had well-developed, prehensile tongues similar to that of a giraffe, that aided in feeding.

Nothrotheriops behaved like all typical ground sloths of north and south America. Feeding on various plants like the desert globemallow, cacti, yucca, agaves, Joshua trees, and mesquite. It was hunted by various local predators, dire wolves and Smilodon, from which the sloths may have defended themselves by standing upright on hindlegs and tail and swiping with their long foreclaws.

Did you know? The Shasta ground sloth is believed to have played an important role in the dispersal of yucca brevifolia, or Joshua tree seeds. Preserved dung belonging to the sloth has been found to contain Joshua tree leaves and seeds, confirming that they fed on the trees. Scientists suggest that the lack of Shasta ground sloths aiding to disperse the seeds to more favourable climates is causing the trees to decline.

Additionally, in the southwest of north America, there is an assortment 6-8 areas including caves around 11,000 years ago, with evidence of nothrotheiops shastensis. The best known specimen of Shasta ground sloth is from a lava tube in Aden crater, New Mexico. Its body was found with hair and tendon still preserved. This nearly complete specimen is on display at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut. Lets here it for the Shasta ground sloth nothrotheriops shastensis.

Found in Europe and Asia, the woolly rhino is paying homage to greek and Europeon tradition as ceolodonta antiquitatis or “hollow-tooth of antiquity”

Many European cave paintings from the upper paleolithic (Pleistocene) depict woolly rhino. As perhaps the more memorable and favorite Pleistocene megafauna of Europe. Probably due to the red orches, and plants, rock and charcoil combinations that were available some even black. The most famous drawings in one area found are south eastern Czech Republic. An archaeological site known for bone fences and buildings called Dolni Vestonice is believe to have had up to 200 drawings. Some scenes even dipicted two rhinos fighting each other. At another location, in Kapova cave some images even show rhino struck with spears or arrows, vindicating there eventual demise. Font de gauge and Lascaux also had significant woolly rhino drawings in France.

The hollow tooth lived 3 million to 10,000 years ago in and around Europe and Asia. Its size was quite large. Around 2000-3000kg, or 4400 to 6600 lbs. It’s height was about 2 m (6 1⁄2 ft) tall at the shoulder, and up to 4.6 m (15 ft) in total body length. There were some amazing features to minimize heat loss. A longer head and body and shorter legs. Its shoulder, a powerful hump and stored fat cells. It had shorter ears and tail. And, its skin was thicker.
Compared to modern rhinos, there horns were quite large, and faced forward. They were around 1 meter (3.3 feet) to about 1.4 (4.7 feet). There individual weight reached up to 35 lbs. Those were some big horns.

Woolly rhino had been documented as found around the mid 1700s. Scientifically and archaeologically speaking, it was an exciting time. Russians were releasing data, that someone was brave enough to explore the Kapova cave. And, further east Russian scientists were uncovering more neolithic remains in the permafrost.

The big find was in 1907. Russian miners announced they had found a complete frozen skeleton buried in a ozokerite pit.
In the 1910s, 20s and 30s, scientists continued on looking for, and analyzing remains. Many had claimed the woolly rhino had secret powers. They feared it had a similar resemblance to a dragon or mythical creation. By the 1930s numerous specimens were found. Many can now be found at: the Lviv National Museum in Russia, the Natural History Museum in Kraków (Poland), and, Natural History Museum in London.

In the past 20 years, permafrost has continued to melt. An additional 3-5 complete woolly rhinosaurus skeletons have been found. Scientists are already looking at bringing the woolly mammoth back. Maybe one day they will bring the woolly rhino or ceolodonta antiquitatis or ‘hollow tooth of antiquitity’ back.

With its large horns, the ceolodonta antiquitatis would have used them for battle, uncovering food and mammoth steppe, and to attract mates. When they did mate, its believed calves were raised similarly to white and black rhinos. Two titties on the females indicated 2-3 offspring were commonly raised at a time. If similar to modern rhinos the young reached sexual maturity in 5 years, and would go out on there own around 3. Because of there size adults had few predators. Though unless still maturing, it was the young that had to fend off hyenas, cave lions and human predators.
The rhinos liked lowlands, river valleys, and plateaus with dry to arid climates. If necessary they could migrate higher but not if the snow was too deep. In combination, giant deer mammoth, reindeer, saga antelope and bison formed what some scientist now call the mammothus-ceolodonta faunal complex.

Did you know? In Zwolen Poland, and the Yana River devices were made from battered pelvic parts, Half meter spear throwers (atlatls). And spear tips from an assortment of sites were found. These bones were strong.

The woolly rhinos mostly fed on mammoth steppe. A plant vegetation diet was very common: grasses, flowers, forms and mosses. There wide upper lip easily pluck pieces from ground. In the winter, it also ate woody plants, conifers, willows and alder. Because of the low protein calories. They would eat massive amounts of grasses and food.

Around 130,000 years ago it was believed the woolly rhino had the widest range of all rhino species. Though seemingly it did not cross the Bering land bridge (at least in large numbers). It was probably due to low grass density, and having to compete with the larger mammoth, humans and different faunal complexs.

Did you know? Sites in Gudenus cave (Austria), and open air site at Konigsaue, Germany had heavily beaten bones with slash marks. It could have been partially from humans taking the marrow for nutrients and lantern fat. Also, making weapons and tools.

Though it is still widely debated. It is believed depletion of the pleistocene megafauna habitat. The loss of glacier, ice and mammoth steppe eventually contributed to the decline of the woolly rhino. Humans hunting, natural disasters and climate change would also would have contributed to there loss. So, lets hear it for the ceolodonda antiquitatis, or ‘hollow tooth of antiquitity’, bearing resemblance to the fancy European tradition you see today.

Font-de-Gaume is a well known cave in south west France

Located near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in the Dordogne department.
Font-de-Gaume cave contents contain paintings in several colours dating to almost 30,000 years.

While exploring the area, in 1901 Denis Peyrony discovered the paintings.

Prehistoric people lived in the Dordogne valley around 25000 thousand years ago. The cave was inhabited for several thousand years. Something must have happened. Because there after, the cave is believed to be long forgotten.

Many of the drawings date from around 19,000 years ago. The most famous is of 5 bison, and was discovered by accident in the 1960s when scientists were cleaning the cave.
More than 230 figures are believed to have been recorded in the cave. Included is 80 bison, 40 horses and 20 mammoths. Some say there are even more yet to be discovered.

Did you know? 200 of the paintings are in multi colour. Making Font-de-Gaume one of the best examples of polychrome (multi colour) paintings other than Lascaux.

Check it out today.