The Island of Shrinking Mammoths Brazil's Disappearing Wild Jaguars 1 day ago   12:15

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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 and

Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the Palaeoloxodon illustrations. You can find more of Julio's work here:

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“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.
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
"Sea level, paleogeography, and archeology on California's Northern
Channel Islands," by Reeder-Myers et al. 2015.

Comments 972 Comments

Rajan Rao
what about the island scrub-jay
Why did the Mammoth swim to the island? The grass was greener.
matthew ulrich
2:40 sounds like global warming happened over and over those mega mammals farted too much !!!!
Carson Joshua Segales
Can foster's rule apply to humans also?? Is this why people like from the philippines are small in size?
Emerson Lamond
at 8:27 you have Norfolk island pines, I don't think they were present in california at this time period
Ryan Holloway
Can do the island of mini dinosaurs of Europe?
kab kab
Tusk!! Tusk!!
srijan saxena
Humans, making species extinct since forever
Cường Quốc
Japaneses before late 20th century
Aether Slugstar
Evolution gets weird on islands.
Smol mammoth
Mammoths: This place is so safe. There is no predatos here. Such a peaceful island.

Humans: I am about to end this man's whole career.
Peter Edwards
Pigmy elephants also lived on Malta.
Dirt Girl
all of the mammoths look so sweet and friendly
Jaycob Bailey
u think the mammoths were like "hey i dare you to swim out to that island" "no way, you do it with me" "ok fine"
Danny Kid
It would be cool to do an episode on the waco mammoths
Mark Rowland
The island of Kodiac has a giant breed of Brown bear. My answer, as to which breed of bear is the largest was declared wrong. This lost me $80,000 in a TV quiz some thirty years back.
Grey Wolf
I love the content of these but the presenter's voice makes my teeth ache! Got to go because she's giving me a migraine :(
Rob Cabrera
Are mammoths just old elephants? I thought all of them where bigger and had thick fur!

Edit: I googled it, and it turns out that Mammoths, African Elephants, and Asian Elephants are three distinct groups of Eliphantidae. When you see them side by side it's easy to see the differences. Mastodons are a complete other thing too.
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Brazil's Disappearing Wild Jaguars The Island of Shrinking Mammoths 1 day ago   21:45

Living With Jaguars is a 360° film documenting wild jaguars in Brazil. Part documentary and part immersive game, Living With Jaguars explores historical and current tensions in a rural region where jaguars prey on ranchers' cattle and ranchers kill them in retaliation. Now, ranchers and jaguars must find new ways to co-exist - or risk the future of a species under threat.

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