Little known facts:
- Former American President Thomas Jefferson was an avid amateur palaeontologist.
- In an attempt to mock him, his political opponents gave him the nickname “Mr. Mammoth” during the 1808 election.
- He is credited with the discovery of an enormous ground sloth, larger than an elephant, that inhabited North America during the late Pleistocene.
- The creature now bears his name: Megalonyx jeffersonii.
These and many other entertaining facts come from the marvellous recent book The World Without Us, which has leapt to the top of my reading pile. I will post a full review when I finish it.