1.8 million years ago, giant German hippopotamuses wallowed on the banks of the Elbe.

Hippos were all over Europe then, along with other megafauna like woolly mammoths and giant cave bears.  What went wrong?  Palaeontologists blame global cooling during the Pleistocene Era, which may have forced Europe’s hippos to shrink to pygmy sizes before finally driving them to warmer climes.


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