Evolution: life in the early Pleistocene

[PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D [ed] (2011). Evolution: life in the early Pleistocene. Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2011, pages 172-173.] [Printer friendly]

Evolution: life in the Calabrian Age (early Pleistocene, Cenozoic)

'Walking with Beasts' is a dramatization of life in the Cenozoic, focused mainly on the evolution of mammals. "Broadcast in 2001, it told the story of life on Earth from the death of the dinosaurs to the dawn of the age of man" (BBC, 20011). The fifth episode ('Sabre Tooth') is centered on the Calabrian Age. (See also Wikipedia, 20112.)

Time: Calabrian Age (1 million years ago), early Pleistocene Epoch, in the Cenozoic Era.
Setting: the South-American continent during the Great American Interchange of fauna north and south of the newly formed Isthmus of Panama.
Main species featured in the episode:
  • Phorusrhacos (identified as terror bird), a carnivorous giant bird, an ancestor of modern seriemas.
  • Smilodon, a carnivorous saber-toothed cat, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Megatherium, an omnivorous giant-sloth, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Macrauchenia, a herbivorous ungulate, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Doedicurus, a herbivorous glyptodont, an ancestor of modern armadillos.
(Video 1/3 embedded from YouTube on 26 October 2011)
(Video 2/3 embedded from YouTube on 26 October 2011)
(Video 3/3 embedded from YouTube on 26 October 2011)


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).

Want to know more?

'Walking with beasts' TV series
Both the BBC, in the UK, and ABC, in Australia, offer more information about the making of the series.
Wikipedia - Geologic history of Earth
The following Wikipedia pages offer more information about the Calabrian Age, the Pleistocene Epoch, and the Cenozoic Era.
Wikipedia - Walking with beasts
This Wikipedia page offers more information about the series and companion book.

Other interesting sites
Journal KAI
Wiki of Science
The Balanced Nutrition Index
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