A Survivor from the Pleistocence

Nice little read in The New York Times:

The musk ox is a holdover from the Pleistocene, the age of the giant mammals memorialized in natural history murals everywhere — the mammoths and mastodons, the saber-toothed cats, the giant ground sloths, the 400-pound beavers. Yet while a vast majority of the frost-fitted bigfoots disappeared at the end of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago, Ovibos hung on, as stubbornly as the ox it is not.

Scientists are now seeking to understand how, exactly, the animal has managed to persist through repeated climate shifts and habitat upheavals. Researchers see in the musk ox’s story clues to help guide efforts to conserve other large land mammals now at risk of extinction. T

Musk Oxen (Ovibos moschatus) Tell a Tale of Survivors – NYTimes.com


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