Going beyond avocados and onto animals!
As you recall, one of important ways that avocado seeds were dispersed was through the gullet of large animals (like the gomphothere). Many of those animals are long gone--extinct. But they left an indelible effect on our landscape, leaving a trail of guacamole behind them.
That made me start to wonder about those beasts and what the landscape must have looked like back in the day when gomphotheres wandered around through southern Mexico and Central America.
If I recall my Pleistocene history correctly, there were a LOT of charismatic megafauna back then--including ones that we think of as being native to some other places. I associate sloths with South America, but there used to be really big sloths in North America as well (although there are none today). Likewise, I think of lions in Africa and camels in the Middle East + Africa.
But it wasn't always this way. This leads to our fun SearchResearch Challenge for the week.
If there were, once upon a time, lions and camels and ground sloths (Oh my!) in North America, what was their historic region? During the past 100,000 years, where could you find camels, lions, and ground sloths?
Just as importantly, how do you do this search? What queries do you need to figure this out?
Be sure to let us know in the comments. Share your knowledge about how to answer questions like this!