Monthly Archives: December 2013

Pleistocene Snapshots -Megantereon

In our imagination, we often picture the sabertooths engaged in savage predatory battles, but when we encounter the big cats in the wild most of the times they are just resting, or walking casually from point A to point B. I like to imagine what it would be to travel back in time to the Pleistocene and, after a long search, to come across a sabertooth cat, like this Megantereon, walking relaxedly and disappearing in the bushes after a short while… we wouldn’t need to get scared by its ferocity, just to absorb its beauty. This is one of the reasons why I think we can never pay too much attention to anatomy and proportions when reconstructing these creatures. Only in that way can we reach a bit closer to that impossible goal -to see the real animals face to face.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drawing the Big Cats in Botswana: feline paradise

The weeks and months after our return from Botswana have been hectic for me, but now I have finally been able to work a little on the footage from our “Drawing the Big Cats” safari. Botswana is indeed a generous land, and it gave us freely. I have just uploaded a short video chronicle of this amazing trip, which you can see following this link:

Our next “Drawing the Big Cats ” safari will be in august 2014. Get ready!
And here is a picture of one of the powerful male lions that came to meet us in Savuti, as captured by my son’s camera. Life at its most energetic!
lions-savuti-1-low-res

Sabertooths on Ice

When modern humans first crossed Beringia on their way from Siberia to the New World, they would have met the Arctic sabertooths. Just like the formidable arctic wolves of Ellesmere island brave their hostile environments today, so did Homotherium carve a place for itself in that pitiless but amazingly productive ecosystem that we call the “mammoth steppe”. What a sight must it have been to see those cats in their winter coats facing the freezing winter winds; to watch their cubs grow from tiny furballs to playful young that made their parents lose more than one prey; and to behold the family group deploying their hunting tactics to catch such imposing prey as bison, musk ox or stag moose.
arctic-Homotherium
Sadly, all those spectacles of nature were lost forever at the end of the Pleistocene, even if those paleolithic humans most lilely took them for granted and assumed they would always be there. Some day in the near future, the epic struggles for survival of the polar bear, the migrating caribou or the musk ox may be just history, just like the lives of the mammoth and the sabertooth. It partly depends on us. We may be satisfied with just watching such natural wonders in documentary films. Or we may grow up and assume a responsability. Small gestures do make a difference. Have you already signed to help save the Arctic? I have. It is just a click, and here is the link.
Have a nice Holiday Season!
http://www.savethearctic.org/

¡Mañana mismo, presentación del libro y proyección!

No lo olvidéis, mañana jueves 12 de diciembre a las 19:00, presentación del libro “Sabertooth” y proyección del documental “Devolviendo a la Vida a los Dientes de Sable”.
Lugar: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid.
¡Os esperamos!

http://www.sam.mncn.csic.es/conferencias1.php?idconferencia=193

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