Camels, elephants, pigeons, bison, salmon, chestnut trees - the foundation, or keystones of the North American landscape. Yes - and it all plays out and fits together in a remarkable essay by Peter Bane: Keystones and Cops: An Eco-Mystery Thriller .
The thesis that these two great American extinctions may be causally linked appears to have received little attention. Popular historians and ecologists of every stripe list them in virtually the same breath as landmark, human-generated events, yet the ornithologists seem to not be communicating with the forest biologists. Ecologists might seem a likely group to have given this notion a passing glance. Surely a few have at least entertained the thought.
This intriguing (true) story blends, forestry, ecology, ornithology and history - recent and ancient - into a fascinating revelation of North American natural history.