So I was reading the staff report:
What did cows evolve from?
and it got me interested.
It mentions that the ancestors of the cows (aurochs) were witnessed by Julius Caesar some 2000 years ago. Although efforts were made to save the species from extinction, they were wiped out (the last bunnch around 1627 in Poland).
This got me to thinking. Caesar maintains that they were only slightly smaller than an elephant (quite a bit larger than current bulls), strong and very fast. Maybe that’s what has got me hooked.
See I’m wondering how many other major species of animal have been wiped out within (oh I don’t know) the last 2000 years.
I know it’s difficult to quantify and even make guesses, but are there many known examples?
I would think the precursor to a bull would be one of them.
How about wolves? Or certain species of sharks? I’m picturing 20-foot-long great whites, but maybe that’s just an overactive imagination.
Since the potential breadth of this topic is so large, let’s try and put some limiters.
First, animals only. No plant species.
Second, the animals have to be of a certain size. Basically anything above a large houserat will do. So insect(s) or the like are out.
Third, stick to the region(s) of Europe and Asia. Primarily because I hear biodiversity is so wide-ranging in Africa (it’d be hard to keep track) and the history of the animal species in the America’s may not be as well documented. In any event let’s stick to Europe and Asia.