We think of rodents as little creatures. But what if you could see a rodent ten feet long, five feet high, and as heavy as a pair of polar bears?
Actually it looks like a capybara, the largest rodent still around today.
Josephoartigasia supposedly died out two million years ago, before anyone was around to set out giant mousetraps. All we can say for sure is that we aren’t able to find it anywhere today.
Imagine the size of the exercise wheel you’d need to buy.
You’ve already asked yourselves, “What’s a barylambda?” It’s this animal pictured above, which exists no more. I love that picture, though. I’d swear it was shot in Edgar Woods, the way it used to be before Democrats paved over every square foot of it. That background does take me back!
This is one of my favorite prehistoric mammals. That long, powerfully-muscled tail looks like it ought to be on a dinosaur, not a mammal. I can’t think of any mammal today that has a tail to match it.
I was always delighted when my Free Prehistoric Monster in a box of Wheat Honeys or Rice Honeys turned out to be a barylambda. Like this one:
*Sigh* Even if we could get the barylambda back, we’d still need a woods to put him in. Our local Edgar Woods was just perfect, but it’s gone as surely as the barylambda.
I hope God remembers to put it back when he restores all things.
Hi, Mr. Nature here–with Hoplophoneus, a graceful prehistoric predator that looked like a cat, ate like a cat, probably moved like a cat… but according to paleontologists, wasn’t a cat.
I became fascinated by this creature when I was a boy, back when they were still calling it a cat, possibly an ancestor of the famous sabertooth. Details of the skeleton, we are now told, are different enough from a cat’s skeleton as to make it a cat wannabe.
But never mind. It’s still an animal well worth looking at, and I wonder now if it’s going to turn up in Obann. Cross an ocelot with a sabertoothed tiger, and you’d get something very like a Hoplophoneus.
I dream of seeing these animals someday, alive and real, when God restores His creation in all its former glory. But for now, the closest I can come is to put them in my books and let ’em rip.
Having just plowed my way through another Newswithviews column, I felt an urge to celebrate.
The prehistoric mammals in this video–you may want to turn down the appalling background music; I don’t know what they were thinking–are the work of Tim Haines, most of them appearing in his wonderful Walking With Beasts.
And most of them have turned up in my Bell Mountain books, too! If you’ve read the books, have a little fun by seeing how many of these critters you can remember from the books.
And I’m off for a bike ride!
It isn’t every day you get to see video of a Baluchitherium, so enjoy it now.
The Thunder King, Book No. 3 of my Bell Mountain series, was born of a dream I had, in which a Baluchitherium–the largest land mammal ever–figured dramatically. With a little extra shaping, that dream became the climax of the book.
Just imagine it… Just imagine!
I’m getting antsy for Obann, and I want to flush the day’s nooze out of my brain… so let’s join Mr. Nature on a prehistoric safari.
Hi, Mr. Nature here–and the video is in Hindi, so I have no idea what the narrator is saying; but I know a Deinotherium when I see one. Well, okay, there are no more Deinotheriums, only pictures and video recreations.
These are related to the elephants we know and love today, and lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Some of them were considerably bigger than modern elephants. Plus it looks like their tusks are on backwards. Deinotherium’s tusks were attached to the lower jaw instead of coming out of the upper, like an elephant’s.
We do not know how this animal used its tusks. Scraping bark off trees? Maybe. They look so much like elephants that the two must have had a lot in common. Except for those tusks. The more you look at them, the more puzzling it gets. What good did their tusks do them, down there?
But God the Designer doesn’t make mistakes, and doesn’t create living things that don’t work. However those tusks functioned, we can be sure they served the animal well.
Mr. Nature here–with a prehistoric animal that lasted into historic times: the pygmy mammoth of Wrangel Island. It was still alive when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.
In all respects except size it was a regular woolly mammoth. Wrangel Island is in the Arctic Ocean, just off Siberia. Today it’s frozen. But a few thousand years ago, mammoths lived there. The ground today is littered with tusks and bones.
Islands are funny. Some animals that are small on the mainland grow very large if they’re on an island for many generations. And some that are large on the mainland grow small if they’re confined to an island. Hence the pygmy elephants and hippos, and giant dormice, of various Mediterranean islands.
Think of a mammoth the size of a pony. And marvel at the work of God’s hands.
I didn’t mean to hit you with a prehistoric critter today, but this video caught my eye and I just can’t help sharing it with you.
Andrewsarchus, from Mongolia, is kind of hard to study because there’s only its yard-long skull that’s been preserved–and only one of those. But if you’ve ever stood in front of that skull, on display at the American Museum of Natural History, as I have, you will stand in awe. I mean, this beast had jaw-muscles as thick as a strong man’s upper arms. It could probably eat your car. In fact, that’s what I think it did eat–cars. With the people still in them.
God’s creative energy–there’s just no reining it in!
This animal is so rare, neither Lintum Foresters nor Abnak hunters have as yet found a name for it. Jack and Ellayne, in Bell Mountain, saw one making off with half a knuckle-bear in its jaws.
The Andrewsarchus, shown here from Tim Haines’ Walking With Beasts, is known from just a single skull discovered in Mongolia by Roy Chapman Andrews’ Central Asiatic Expedition. From the neck down, everything else is pure conjecture. Not having read Bell Mountain, scientists still haven’t decided quite how to reconstruct this monster. If you ever get a chance to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York, don’t miss the Andrewsarchus skull. It’s a yard long, and those massive teeth and muscle attachments look like they mean business.