(click on photo for larger image)
Megalomonoceros Giganteus (meaning "gigantic single horn") is the prehistoric ancestor of the nearly extinct Herbatus Unimoosis. Megalomonoceros dates from the late Pleistocene (from about 1.5 million to 11,000 years ago).
Megalomonoceros was the largest moose species ever; it stood up to seven feet at the shoulder (2.1 meters), with a single, huge antler that spanned up to 6 1/2 feet (1.8 meters). The Megalomonoceros evolved during the Pleistocene Epoch. Large herds of these mammals lived in what is now Ethiopia and ranged as far the Sub-Sahara. The complete skeleton pictured at the top of the page, on display at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow, was found by an ill-fated archeological expedition in 1911, near Herto, Middle Awash, Ethiopia.
Megalomonoceros adapted readily to the changing climate of the late Pleistocene, but unfortunately cooling temperatures caused the extinction of its primary food source, Rahona Ostromi. Megalomonoceros spontaneously evolved into the Herbatus Unimoosis. The last known specimen of Megalomonoceros died around 11,000 years ago near an abandoned Irish Castle. We can only surmise that Megalomonoceros had a taste for transcontinental travel.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Suborder: Ruminantia (ruminants), Family: Cervidae, Subfamily: Odocoileinae.
Megalomonoceros had very good senses of hearing and smell but not very good eyesight. It is theorized that it located its primary prey by a rudimentary form of echolocation, produced by the gigantic antler.
The Megalomonoceros' long legs allow it to run at a very fast gallop. They were also very good swimmers. Pool parties were a frequent event.
Megalomonoceros were mostly solitary animals, except during the mating season, where they were known to agglomerate near bodies of water.
Megalomonoceros lived in cool-climate forests near water (lakes, ponds, rivers, or swampy land), until food shortages and the dramatic climate changes of the Late Pleistocene caused them to migrate to more desert-like environs, the current range of Herbatus Unimoosis.
Megalomonoceros were found in Sub-Saharan Africa (Sudan and Ethiopia), ranging as far north as what is now known as Libya and Algeria.
Megalomonoceros solitary food source was Rahona Ostromi. Forrester and colleagues presume that it fits in at the base of the bird family tree, alongside Archaeopteryx. Accelerator mass spectrometer readings of ancient middens revealed a fondness for barbecued wings. This discovery is overturning over long-held, beloved archeological conventions about Megalomonoceros, as R. Ostromi is considered a is a wingless bird.
(R. Ostromi's nearest living relative)
While the Ethiopian ecoregion makes up only 2% of the total land area in Ethiopia, it contains 80% of land above 3000 m in the Afrotropical realm. Split into northern and southern massifs, these highlands were formed by turbulent volcanic forces that ceased only 4 to 5 million years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age, Megalomonoceros were restricted to higher altitudes by the warming climate. High levels of endemism are found here and the region's biota demonstrates evolutionary links to both the Palaearctic and the Afrotropical realms. The vegetation, known as wurch to Ethiopians, consists of grassland and moorland with abundant herbs. Most plant species (many of which are endemic) show adaptations to the extreme conditions found at high altitudes. Stretching out across Ethiopia, these pockets of high altitude vegetation harbor the last populations of the critically endangered Ethiopian Prairie Chicken, the dwindling food source for Herbatus Unimoosis.
Darloss's Theory of Evolution (unattributed document)
The little known but highly respected theorist, Confucius Darloss, recently published his views that man and the Unimoose share a common ancestry.
"Herbert could well be your own cousin!" expounded Darloss. "And I'm talking more than just Latin Roots!"
Darloss of course referring to the Latin words Homo Sapiens, meaning Man, and Homoose Sapiens, referring to Herbert.
"And I've got the proof," he said, "that man and Unimoose have the same ancestor only 10,000 generations ago."
So saying he then unveiled a skeleton, which he calls the Austrolopithamoose. "This is the missing link," Darloss proclaimed. "It was a split in this tribe which completed the difference between man and Unimoose."
He further expounded on his theory, which claims that Austrolopithamoose existed in what is now Australia.
"They moved north, of course," he added, "before Australia broke away from the rest of Asia."
He claims that the half of the tribe moved to the Tigris and Euphrates valley and evolved into man. The other half moved to Ethiopia and became the Unimoose.
Other experts disagree, claiming Austrolopithamoose is a fake, some even calling it the 'Piltdown Moose'.
"It's got a tinkertoy for a wrist!" exclaimed one man who was allowed to examine the skeleton.
"Of course it does," agreed Darloss, "I had to improvise for the missing pieces, didn't I?"
Immediately after the press conference Darloss left for Ethiopia to continue his research. He has been unavailable for further comment.
Reprint from interview on Facebook.
Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 12:44pm
The library of the late, lamented Dr. Confucius Darloss, long thought lost in a tragic house fire caused by a swarm of insane lightning bugs (his stuff, not Dr. Darloss--he was last seen in Herta, Middle Awash Ethiopia), was found today by the intrepid, if little known, archaeologist Dr. Madame Presidente.
Facebook: So Dr. Madame Presidente, that's quite the coup!
Dr. Madame Presidente: Yes, thank you.
FB: Was there anything that especially excited you about today's excavation?
DMP: Yes. I was very pleased to to find the confiscated film from the photos taken during Dr. Darloss' last interview.
DMP: No shit. Really. Amazingly, they were well protected by a huge stack of flattened Cheerios boxes, which had apparently become damp and moldy at the time of the fire.
FB: And the film?
DMP: Well, as you may know, Dr. Darloss didn't hold with modern conventions, and the film was in metal cans. It took most of the day, but I finally tracked down a 1 Hour Photo Lab. Sadly the machine ate all but one picture.
My deepest apologies for stealing material from these fine folks, and subverting it for my own evil purposes. Go, read and learn!