We are delighted to welcome Nigel Monaghan, keeper of the Natural History Museum, Dublin. In keeping with previous Darwinian themes, he will present on Ice age mammals: tales of extinction and survival.
The collection of bones of ice age mammals in the National Museum of Ireland reveal a great deal about the last 40,000 years. Climate changed in cycles as did the animals that inhabited the changing landscapes. For well over a century there has been evidence of the presence of woolly mammoths, giant deer and even spotted hyenas in our ice age faunas. Radiocarbon dating has been used to put these ancient faunas in context. Recent work using new techniques has allowed these bones to be examined for DNA, showing patterns of family relationships. New studies on our modern faunas are beginning to identify native animals from those introduced by our ancestors. Even today new animals are arriving, with as yet unknown impacts on our environment. identify native animals from those introduced by our ancestors. Even today new animals are arriving, with as yet unknown impacts on our environment.