Why did the woolly mammoth go extinct? What environmental pressures caused dwarfing of elephants on Mediterranean islands in the past? What can DNA preserved in ancient biological specimens reveal about cattle domestication?
We are tackling these questions and more with a diverse range of research projects.
This project aims to reconstruct the relationships among the different extinct deer species which lived in Europe between 2.5 and 0.5 million years ago.
Researchers in the Palaeontology Department are leading a project to study the effect of dramatic environmental changes over the last 800,000 years on the evolution and survival of dwarf elephants and dwarf deer. Such work may help us understand how mammals might respond to climate change today.
Discover what research is underway at the Natural History Museum to discover why large mammals went extinct in the Late Quaternary Ice Age.
The taxonomy of both African and Asian elephants is under debate. Museum researchers are conducting a number of studies focusing on anatomical variation to complement the genetic research taking place. Learn more about the work taking place and what it is revealing.
Using mammoth fossils, our researchers are studying and modeling how new species originate. Find out more about this project, and why the fossil record of the Quaternary ice ages is so useful for observing evolution in action.
DNA is sometimes preserved in ancient biological specimens, allowing us to trace molecular evolutionary processes through time and space. Learn more about this powerful source of information, the questions it can help answer, and related projects at the Museum.