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Mammoths: Ice Age Giants [Hardcover]

Adrian Lister
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

1 Feb 2014
Enormous, elephantine and extinct: the mammoth is the iconic animal of the Ice Age. Mammoths: Ice Age Giants reveals what their life was really like. These colossal creatures roamed the cold, open landscapes of Europe, Asia, and North America as recently as 20,000 years ago. Today, their well-preserved fossil remains generate much fascination and speculation around the world. Unravelling the latest scientific research, Adrian Lister describes their environment, behaviour, evolution and appearance, including new DNA analysis that shows what colour mammoths actually were. He explains why this incredible species died out and whether it may be possible to clone them in the future. He also draws challenging parallels between the fate of the mammoths and that of their close relatives, the living elephants. Throughout the book there are striking photographs of skeletons, skulls, tusks and preserved flesh from the world-famous collections of the Natural History Museum in London, as well as images of the best preserved mammoth in the world, Lyuba. From the Pleistocene period to our recent past, Mammoths: Ice Age Giants captures evolution in action in the dynamic world of the mammoth. The book is published to tie in with a major new exhibition on mammoths opening at the Natural History Museum in May 2014.

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Mammoths: Ice Age Giants + Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story + The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The Natural History Museum (1 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0565093274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0565093273
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 19.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Professor Adrian Lister is a Merit Researcher in the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, London. His research is centred on Quaternary mammal fossils to enhance our understanding of processes of evolution and species extinction.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars megafauna 3 Jun 2014
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This book was published to coincide with an exhibition of the same name held at the Natural History Museum.
The book discusses various types of megafauna eg. mastadons,wooly and Columbian mammoths and others their behaviour,environment,evolution and how and why they died out.
Latest DNA evidence is discussed
Very well written and researched with excellent pictures,illustrations and diagrams.
There vis a small section on further reading.
A first class book well up to the museums standards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Illustrated, Well Mapped, Enjoyable Read 27 Jun 2014
By H. A. Weedon VINE VOICE
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This is a well researched, well written work packed with all kinds of both interesting and fascinating information, besides which it is packed with helpful illustrations, diagrams and maps. There's also a 'further information' section and a comprehensive index. Although only mammoths are mentioned in the title, it actually contains a great deal of information about the evolution of elephants and their relations with all kinds of details about fossil finds and their relationships to modern elephants. However, although it mentions the relationship between dugongs, manatees and elephants, it fails to mention hyraxes, which are also known, through their anatomy, to have stemmed from the same evolutionary source as elephants, besides which the reader could have been told that, although the various species of hyrax are all small mammals, they all have long gestation periods of around six months suggesting relationship to larger mammals such as elephants, but this relative information is not included.

The book has five chapters: 1: Mammoths and Elephants. 2. Tusks and Trunks. 3. The World of the Ice Age. 4. Frozen and Living. 5 Endangered and Extinct. The reader is shown how there is an uncanny resemblance between the way in which mammoths eventually reached extinction and the way in which the current world elephant population is in decline. Worse still, although humans were much less responsible than climate change for the mammoth's extinction, they are the main cause for the decline in modern elephant numbers.

The reader is shown how tusks and trunks evolved and reasons are given for why they did so. There are also lots of interesting facts concerning elephant teeth.
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Well illustrated book that offers far more information than can be delivered in the Natural History Museum exhibition and although linked to the 2014 exhibition in South Kensington, this book is a stand-alone text and will provide popular coverage of the subject long after the exhibition has closed.

Although it does not detract from the book or it's content, please be aware that Amazon's description (June 2014) of this book as a hardback is incorrect - it has a soft cover.
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Written by a leading authority on the subject this is an ideal guide to the exhibition but is also a fascinating text in its own right. It contains many excellent illustrations, is easy to read, and tells the general reader everything he can reasonably want to know. In addition, it is very reasonably priced.
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