A Walk on the Wild Side

Pleistocene megafauna

Treatment of Climate Change is much expanded as a result of recent research at the local university and we learn fascinating details of the many fluctuations from Pleistocene times to the present day warming trend.E.R. Ward Neale

Much debate has surrounded the late Pleistocene extinction of large animals. In North America, most extinctions took place within a narrow time interval, between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago…. The wave of extinctions coincided with rapid climatic changes at the end of the last glaciation. Climatic changes led to major alterations in vegetation cover on which herbivores depended, which precipitated an ecological crisis for large land animals.James S. Aber

Can you imagine walking in the footsteps of the great Giant Beaver, the Mastodon, or the American Cheetah?  12,700 years ago, 90 genera of mammals weighing over 44 kilograms 100 pounds) became extinct.

Was glacial Lake Agassiz home to the nine foot long sabertooth salmon? Would giant tortoises be walking the beaches of Glacial Lake Saskatoon I alongside the spectacular armadillo and the giant armadillo-like Glyptotherium?

Looking out over the Glacial Lakes, would giant beavers be building dams along side the glacier ice dams? Giant tortoises weighing 417 kg (919 lb) and reaching a length of 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in). Whereas Giant Beavers, Castoroides, would a length between 1.9 m (6.2 ft), and 2.2 m (7.2 ft) had a weight of 90 kg (198 lb) to 125 kg (276 lb).

When you are out in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, are you walking in the footsteps of the giant sloths and short-faced bears weighing 900 kg (1 short ton). Would you meet up with the American lions (1.6–2.5 m long (5 ft 3 in–8 ft 2 in)), dire wolves, “American cheetahs” (Miracinonyx -weighing 70 kg (150 lb)) or with saber-toothed cats like Smilodon and the scimitar cat, Homotherium? The saber toothed cat, Smilodon populator, is thought to weigh up to 400 kg (880 lb).

Can you just see the camelid animals such as two species of now extinct llamas and Camelops. And what of the other mammals, two species of bison; stag-moose; the shrub-ox and Harlan’s muskox; the 14 species of pronghorn (of which 13 are now extinct); horses; mammoths and mastodons.

Native horses and camels galloped across the plains of North America. Great teratorn birds with 25-foot wingspans stalked prey.David Polly

When you look up during your time travel excursion to the Pleistocene era, there would be birds such as giant condors and other teratorns soaring in the air overhead. One of these birds, Aiolornis incredibilis (formerly Teratornis incredibilis), of the teratorn family, was the largest known North American capable of flying possessing a wingspan of up to about 5 m (16 ft) and weighing in at 23 kg (51 lb).

Before the Quaternary extinction event there were tapirs; peccaries (Including the long nosed and flat-headed peccaries) and saiga added to the mix.

Walking in the footsteps of the Pleistocene megafauna is quite an adventure! When you are out at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or when you are around and about the afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, both created by the Pleistocene spillway flooding, consider also the Pleistocene mammals that wandered North America, the mastodons, giant condors and sabre toothed cats.

Ongoing analysis will no doubt have a focus on elucidating the successive train of events to better understand the geological conditions of the West Swale.  Philosophers and geologists are tantalized seeking their PhD theses uncovering and hypothesizing upon the wealth of information archived in the West Swale and South Saskatchewan River valley.

The West Swale  reconstruction of the most recent glacial retreat zipped through the Pleistocene geology, leaving us to wonder at the spectacular megafauna of the Pleistocene.  Why are there no longer any Giant Condors, or Mastodons roaming the prairies?  Why did the native North American horses and camels disappear?

Peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding.
– Albert Einstein

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker
Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people
who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all.
– Dale Carnegie

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Author: stbarbebaker

This website is about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area - an urban regional park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hosts are the stewards of the afforestation area. The afforestation area received its name in honour of the great humanitarian, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was an English forester, environmental activist and author, who contributed greatly to worldwide reforestation efforts. As a leader, he founded an organization, Men of the Trees, still active today, whose many chapters carry out reforestation internationally. {Wikipedia} Email is StBarbeBaker AT yahoo.com to reach the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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