Ice Age Co-Stars: Horses, Camels, and Cheetahs

Mammoths and saber-toothed cats may be the most famous beasts of the Ice Age. But they shared the prairie with horses and camels, too — both of which evolved in North America and crossed the ice bridge into Eurasia, before disappearing here. Matthew Kohn and Christopher Hill talk about the lesser-known fauna of the Ice Age.

“The Age of Mammals,” a mural by Rudolph F. Zallinger. From left to right these are the mastodon “Mammut americanum”; “Castoroides,” a giant beaver the size of a modern black bear; the giant bird “Teratornis”; the wooly mammoth, “Mammuthus primigenius”; the woodland musk ox “Bootherium”; the extinct bison “Bison crassicornis”; “Smilodon,” a saber-toothed cat; a dire wolf, “Canisdirus”; horses of the modern genus “Equus”; “Megatherium,” a giant ground sloth; an armored glyptodont, “Glyptodon”; and the extinct American camel “Camelops.” Caption from—and more information available at—AMNH Copyright 1966, 1975, 1989, 1991, 2000 Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University

Segment Guests

Matthew Kohn

Matthew Kohn is a distinguished professor in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill is an associate professor of anthropology and associate dean of the Graduate College at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.