November 14, 2001 3:48 PM   Subscribe

MegaFauna is a new project from kokogiak (author of The MegaPenny Project, which answers the burning question "what would a trillion pennies look like?"), chronicling a parade of extinct weird animals, organized into groups such as "Interesting Names", "Woolly and Huge" and "Strange and/or Massive." [via MeFi-Projects]
posted by JParker (12 comments total)
We should help him out. I've got a 40-foot-long, 20,000 lb. crocodile to contribute, called "Sarcosuchus."
posted by JParker at 3:51 PM on November 14, 2001

I nearly did include Sarcosuchus, but it lost out to Odobenocetops - the weird tusked whale.

If you don't feel like drilling down into the MegaFauna project, at least be sure to check out the website for the BBC production of Walking with Prehistoric Beasts (due out on Discovery Channel December 9th in the US). I don't work for them, etc. I just think it's really interesting.
posted by kokogiak at 4:07 PM on November 14, 2001


That's a big ass camel.

Does anyone know why there were such larger animals around about a million years ago?
posted by delmoi at 4:10 PM on November 14, 2001

delmoi - one of the weirder hypotheses about the larger animals in prehistoric times actually involves Earth's "attenuated gravity" - the idea that gravity was significantly weaker way back then, and that it has increased in power over time. Weird, but not inconceivable. Here's a paper about it - take w/appropriate grain of salt.
posted by kokogiak at 4:13 PM on November 14, 2001

Those classification groups ring a bell ...

"... a certain Chinese encyclopedia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance."

Jorge Luis Borges-- "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins"

posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:23 PM on November 14, 2001

I would definitely lump these animals into classification (h) - or possibly (f) - ;)

Great quote, thanks thatwhichfalls.
posted by kokogiak at 4:28 PM on November 14, 2001

I've got a 40-foot-long, 20,000 lb. crocodile

Is that what you call it? I just call mine "Peter". :-)

Great stuff, kokogiak. I have nightmares about hordes of giant beavers (no, not that kind) breaking down the doors like the zombies in Night of the Living Dead.
posted by jpoulos at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2001

Good stuff in there kokogiak. Most of my favourite exctinct megafauna were South American marsupials such as thylacosmilus - a kind of extreme version of the sabre-toothed tiger from Miocene Argentina.

This site could be a really useful resource kokgiak - good work!
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:53 PM on November 14, 2001

Okay - another weird-but-good one: Helicoprion - 1,2. A bizarre shark with a buzz-saw shaped lower jaw. As you can see by the two conflicting links, nobody is sure how the teeth actually fit into the shark's mouth.
posted by kokogiak at 5:03 PM on November 14, 2001

Great job, Kokogiak. This is what the internet was created for.
posted by ColdChef at 7:19 PM on November 14, 2001

<whine>Mom, can we get a dog?</whine>

Great site, Kokogiak.
posted by jazon at 9:07 PM on November 14, 2001

Kokogiak: I just knew you had it in you. Thanks JParker, for letting us in on it. It's very rare that, in one fell swoop, one's imaginative powers are so amusingly enriched. Never mind vocabulary. Boy oh boy oh boy!
/makes note to self to start checking out favourite users' websites
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:31 PM on November 14, 2001

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