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Larisa DeSantis Archives

Climate change took away ancient animals’ food supply; holds implications for today’s wildlife

Jun. 2, 2017—Analysis suggests that climate change had a significant impact on megafauna diets and was a primary factor in their extinction.

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Life, Earth and Space Research Research Blog


The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo

Apr. 19, 2017—Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of three man-eating lions reveals that painful dental disease may have been what drove the cats to hunt humans instead of larger prey.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


Fossils at the Fort is March 25

Mar. 15, 2017—Fossils at the Fort is happening on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Negley Visitors Center and Park. The event is free and will take place rain or shine.

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Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia

Jan. 26, 2017—A new study has compared the diet of a variety of Australian megafaunal herbivores from the period when they were widespread (350,000 to 570,000 years ago) to a period when they were in decline (30,000 to 40,000 years ago) by studying their fossil teeth. The analysis suggests that climate change had a significant impact on their diets and may well have been a primary factor in their extinction.

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Vanderbilt excavation begins to shed more light on the lives of early Peruvians

Oct. 4, 2016—Findings from archaeologist Tom Dillehay's dig at Huaca Prieta and Paredones include the world's earliest known use of indigo dye.

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Fossils at the Fort is March 19

Mar. 10, 2016—Fossils at the Fort is a free annual event providing young and old with an opportunity to journey into Middle Tennessee's astonishing ancient past.

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Kudos: Read about faculty, staff and student awards, appointments and achievements

Nov. 23, 2015—Read about faculty, staff and student awards, appointments and achievements.

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VU paleontologist appears on Nat Geo Wild’s ‘Future Cat’ Nov. 30

Nov. 28, 2014—Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of Earth and environmental sciences, is a featured expert on Nat Geo Wild’s Future Cat, part of the network’s Big Cat week.

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Life, Earth and Space myVU myVU News Research Research Blog


VUCast: Cougar Cravings

Jul. 29, 2014—In the latest VUCast: See what cougars eat to help them avoid extinction; look inside Warren and Moore colleges, Vanderbilt’s newest living-learning community; and hear what Commodore football coaches are doing to create a winning team. Watch now!

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Cougars’ diverse diet helped them survive the mass extinction that wiped out the saber-tooth cat, American lion

Apr. 22, 2014—Cougars may have survived a mass extinction that took place about 12,000 years ago because they were not particular about what they ate.

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Life, Earth and Space releases Research


Academic Minute: Larisa DeSantis on “Megafauna diets and extinction”

Feb. 18, 2013—In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University reveals what North America’s largest predators were eating just before they died out.

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External Story Life, Earth and Space Research


Evidence shows starvation did not cause saber-tooth cat extinction

Dec. 26, 2012—The latest study of the microscopic wear patterns on the teeth of the American lions and saber-toothed cats that roamed North America in the late Pleistocene found that they were living well off the fat of the land in the period just before they went extinct.

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Life, Earth and Space releases Research


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