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The Island of Shrinking Mammoths

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 Archeology / Paleontology   |   Biology   |   Science
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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

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

Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, Renzo Caimi Ordenes, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Marilyn Wolmart, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, سلطان الخليفي, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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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

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