The Last Giant of Beringia

The Last Giant of Beringia

The Mystery of the Bering Land Bridge

Book - 2004
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The intriguing theory of a land bridge periodically linking Siberia and Alaska during the coldest pulsations of the Ice Ages had been much debated since Jose de Acosta, a Spanish missionary working in Mexico and Peru, first proposed the idea of a connection between the continents in 1590. But proof of the land bridge -- now named Beringia, after eighteenth-century Danish explorer Vitus Bering -- eluded scientists until an inquiring geologist named Dave Hopkins emerged from rural New England and set himself to the task of solving the mystery. Through the life story of Hopkins, The Last Giant of Beringia reveals the fascinating science detective story that at last confirmed the existence of the land bridge that served as the intercontinental migration route for such massive Ice Age beasts as woolly mammoths, steppe bison, giant stag-moose, dire wolves, short-faced bears, and saber-toothed cats -- and for the first humans to enter the New World from Asia. After proving unambiguously that the land bridge existed, Hopkins then conclusively demonstrated that the Beringian landscape cannot have been the "polar desert" that many had claimed, but provided forage enough to sustain a diverse menagerie of Ice Age behemoths.
Publisher: Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c2004.
ISBN: 9780813341972
0813341973
Characteristics: vii, 231 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

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srmechs Jun 22, 2013

Thousands of years ago, during the last ice age, there were periods when so much water was packed into huge glaciers in North America and Europe that the level of the sea fell perhaps as much as 400 feet below its present level. As the sea fell, it receded and the shape of the continents changed. Since the sea between Alaska and Siberia is shallow, the result was to unite the American and Asian continents. It happened gradually, of course, but the land bridge, as it is called, extended over 900 miles, north to south and was in existence for hundreds of years.

This book is the story of how knowledge of Beringia has grown and developed over the past century. Its focus is David Hopkins, a geologist with such a wide ranging curiosity that he could not rest with a single line of interpretation, but must consult scientists in other fields, specialists in the study of pollen, teeth, insects, linguistics, etc. It is a well written and highly interesting book.

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