May 16, 2013

Back in time

So in all the brouhaha recently (with the whole D.C. scandal du jour and the exciting news of the rescue of the three women in Cleveland, you might have missed the tidbit about how the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached the milestone record of over 400 ppm.
This level hasn't been seen since likely the Pliocene epoch. This, naturally, led me wonder what life was like in the Pliocene epoch, which spans the time period from  2.6 million years ago all the way back to 5.3 million years ago. The Pliocene was followed directly by the Pleistocene glaciers.
Emerging  from the research is  the promising news that early hominids evolved at this time. (Australopithecus).
On the downside a lot of animals went extinct. One of which was a glyptodont. Not only does it have a kickass name, but "the main feature of glyptodonts was their tortoise-like body armor that was made of bone segments... many such as the type genus, Glyptodon, were the size of modern automobiles." This is a hatchback-sized armadillo. Excellent.

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