1. What carnivores were important in the evolutionary history of Australia? What mammal group(s) were important? (Note that, according to recent reports, Tingamarra may not have been a placental mammal as previously thought.) What were the following?: Meiolania, Dromornis, Thylacoleo, and Diprotodon. (See the HOL Web pages for more details.) What was Captain Cook's first reaction to seeing a kangaroo and how did this foretell ecological changes to follow?
2. What was unusual about New Zealand's fauna? What is notable about the following New Zealand endemics?: tuataras, wetas, moas, kiwis.
3. Why are the mostly extinct groups of South American mammals considered to be a striking example of convergent evolution with those evolving in North America? Can you give a few examples of similar guilds being filled by different particular mammals in North and South America? What was notable about the following?: Didelphis, Diadiaphorus, Thoatherium, Toxodon, Glyptodon, Borhyaena, Thylacosmilus. (See the HOL Web pages for more details.) Why are most of these groups extinct today? What was the "Great American Interchange" and why were its lasting affects biased in one direction. (This will be covered in lecture). Why are teratorn fossils known from Florida? How and when did they get there?
4. Why was the African mammal fauna so different from the Eurasian and North American mammal faunas? When did these areas exchange faunas?
5. What are important lessons to be gained from examination of the vertebrate fossils from Gargano and Cuba, as well as other islands?
6. What is ABW? Why has it been important in recent Epochs, even for the Northern Hemisphere? How is it linked to historical changes associated with the Antarctic continent?
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