An Evolutionary Ride - on species, extinction and climate change

My piece on climate change, the Anthropocene and extinction is published in the new University of East Anglia magazine format, combining text and images in an innovative format. This story co-incides with an event at Norwich Cathedral that I will chair on October 12th, 7-9pm. For more information click here

Most children have a favourite dinosaur, and a few of us adults, too. Full disclosure: mine is Triceratops. I admire their essential underdog-ness; alive in a time of flesh-eating giants including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, with only the prongs of their three horns to save them. How wonderful, then, to meet some in the flesh...

The almost-Triceratops

I am at Lewa Downs in northern Kenya, training to be a safari guide. In conservation circles, Lewa is known as home to remaining populations of critically endangered Black rhino, as well as the more numerous White rhino. (Their names are to do with anatomy and feeding behaviour, not colour – the standard safari guide joke is: ‘aren’t all rhinoceros grey?’)

Throughout Africa, the Black rhino is critically endangered, at risk of becoming functionally extinct. Both species are being hunted to death for the perceived value of their horns, a hunk of keratin – the same substance our fingernails are made from – and which in actuality have no properties at all, medicinal or otherwise. Unless you are a rhinoceros.

You can read the full article at: