Jurassic Park 2.0 or, Once and Future Giants: What ice age extinctions tell us about the fate of earth’s largest animals

Jun 16, 2011

Archeologist Paul S. Martin was obsessed with extinct animals in a kind of Jurassic Park sort of way. His “Pleistocene rewilding” theory argued that the extinction of megafauna (large creatures of the past, including saber-toothed cats, mastodons and short-faced kangaroos) had drastically knocked North America’s ecological equilibrium off balance and that one way to correct that imbalance would be to reintroduce those creatures back into the modern environment. His followers wanted to bring old world elephants, lions and cheetahs to North America to be ecological stand-ins for their extinct relatives. When science writer Sharon Levy heard about this, she thought it was crazy. Then she started researching it. She joins Patt to talk about what it might entail to bring back mastadons, saber-toothed cats and even dinosaurs to our current world.

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