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41 Responses to “About”

  1. markgelbart Says:

    I’m writing this blog because I’m fascinated with what the ecology of southeastern North America was before people colonized the region and ruined it.

    Check out my book–Georgia Before People: Land of the saber-tooths, mastodons, vampire bats, and other strange creatures. Available at http://www.lulu.com and http://www.amazon.com

    I can send you a signed edition for $20 which includes postage. Just send me a private email and I’ll give you my address to send the check to.

    • Joe Harris Says:

      We have a Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, Inc. which is interested in developing the KC site for educational purposes. It would be interesting to know you better.

    • D. Weber Says:

      How can I contact you about obtaining a signed copy of your book? Your email address is pretty well-hidden. (And probably for good reason.)

      • markgelbart Says:

        If you want a signed copy of my book, just send a check for $20 to the following address:

        Mark Gelbart
        1144 Piney Grove Road
        Augusta, Georgia 30906

        The price includes shipping.

    • muscogeerunner Says:

      I think you mean before European people came and ruined it. Much of what you share is Georgia before Europeans. Indigenous peoples have lived here since time immemorial. We did not ruin our ancestral homelands.

      • markgelbart Says:

        I do mean before all people came to North America. Native Americans wiped out 70% of the large mammal species that lived here, thousands of years before Europeans arrived. You did ruin your ancestral homelands.

  2. AZ Says:

    I found your blog, and I’m interested in knowing what your professional background is. Have you studied ecology, zoology, palaeontology, or any of the fields you discuss? Just curious. I can’t find a way to send you a private email…no contact info. Maybe I’m missing something.

  3. georgia caver Says:


    Your blog has some interesting facts regarding fossils found in Georgia (U.S.) caves. Would you be so kind as to email me regarding same? Thank you.


  4. jim Says:

    You really need to discuss this new “The Natural Communities of Georgia.” It is going to be THE reference book on natural ecological communities in Georgia for years to come. It just shipped yesterday. Amazon has it. I don’t have a financial interest in this, but I really think you ought to take a look at it and maybe discuss it in the blog.

    • markgelbart Says:

      I’ve known about this book for 2 years. I believe it was originally scheduled to be published last spring. I’m glad you let me know it’s finally out.

      I plan on purchasing it soon.

  5. Jim Says:

    MG: Hey, I’m the guy that gave you the heads-up on the “Natural Communities” book. Here’s a new one for your library. It’s “Roadside Geology of Georgia.” It’s brand-spanking new, all-color, and awesome. It discusses some of your blog topics. I think it’s a must-have for Georgia naturalists. A great starting point for many Georgia geology day-trips/drives.

    • markgelbart Says:

      You must not have read the last line of my review of the Natural Communities of Georgia. I wrote a note to self to look for Roadside of Geology when it gets published. I saw that one when I ordered the other book.

  6. Jim Says:

    MG: FYI – serious Pleistocene goodness in this quarter’s Southeastern Naturalist. The postal pack mule just delivered it to my dusty dirt road.

  7. markgelbart Says:

    I know. Coincidentally, it’s the subject of my next blog essay.

  8. John F. Jacobi Says:

    Hi, Mark. I founded and help edit a college conservation magazine, The Wildernist (www.thewildernist.org). I’d like to offer you a chance to submit to the magazine. If you’re interested, please email me or contact The Wildernist editorial team.

  9. Lia Says:

    Hi Mark, would you please shoot me an email? I would like to talk to you about red wolves for a research project I am conducting for senior seminar, specifically about the Colbert Cave and Fern Cave wolf specimens. You seem to know your stuff, and would appreciate your insight. Thanks!

  10. markgelbart Says:

    I’d be happy to, if I knew your email. If you don’t want to post your private email, you can send me a private message on my facebook page. The link is on my blogroll.

  11. tom Says:

    Hi Mark,

    You’ve probably already seen this paper but I thought I would forward the link if not. Seems like it would be up your alley.


  12. amanda clement Says:

    Mark, Hi, you sent me a signed copy of your book a few years ago. Im finding this blog fascinating, as was your book. Where I live is an old disused limestone quarry, now a wildlife park where in 1900 the Yorkshire Geological Society uncovered mammalian remains of straight tusked elephants, hyena, hippopotamus, woolly rhinoceros and the mighty European cave lion. I found your book painted a very similar picture in my mind as to what this area was also once like. I have a wildlife & history trail here now and talk about the wonderful history of the place. 🙂

  13. Debbie Tringale Says:

    Mark, I your blog has been very helpful to me of late. I am writing a fiction tale about the reemergence of an extinct species in Georgia. I wonder if you would be interested in answering some questions I have.

    • markgelbart Says:

      Go ahead and ask.

      • Debbie Tringale Says:

        Mark, My book is fiction but I want it to as real as possible. From my research it appears that a consequence of the naval stores industry and prescribed burns have created a landscape in northeast Florida that is similar to how it was in the Pleistocene period. Is this correct or at least close?

  14. Debbie Tringale Says:

    Although my story is fiction, I am doing the best I can to make it plausible. Am I correct that the naval stores business and prescribed burning has created a landscape in northeast Florida similar to what it was during the Pleistocene period?

    • markgelbart Says:

      It depends. The environment varied during the Pleistocene, alternating between cold/dry and warm/wet cycles. Lightning-induced fire has always occurred in this region and prescribed fire merely mimics natural conditions. I wrote an article about a scientific study in northwest Florida that studied the pollen record in a lake. The pollen record indicated various dramatic changes in the environment. Here’s a link to the article. https://markgelbart.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/changing-forest-composition-in-northwest-florida-over-the-past-40000-years/

      From 40,000-31,000 years ago, chestnut and oak forest dominated northwest Florida. This was replaced by pine and oak woodlands interspersed with prairie openings.

      Northeast Florida probably alternated between scrub oak and western style prairie environments during cold/dry cycles with pine savannah during warm/wet intervals.

  15. Debbie Tringale Says:

    Thank you.

  16. Geoffrey Pearson Says:

    I love your blog!!

  17. klassbenjamin Says:

    Hi Mark
    I really enjoy reading your blog. As someone from South Africa I find it fascinating the megafauna that North America once had that has been depleted, a similar process happened in much of South Africa more recently (luckily most of these species are not extinct, just limited to the most remote parts of the country).
    I want to know if you could have an answer as to why for the most part peccaries, tapirs, camelids and spectacled bears dissappeared from North America despite originating there but survived in South America. Could it be due to harsh envrionemts to humans (mountains, rainforest) or developing fear to humans or another answer. It really baffles me.
    Keep up the good work

    • markgelbart Says:

      Probably different reasons for each. Spectacled bears could co-exist with black bears in North America until there was the added stress of human presence. In South America there were more remote jungles and wilderness areas where human populations remained low, providing a refuge for metapopulations of peccaries. The superabundance of insects in tropical regions suppresses human populations there. I think tropical disease limiting human populations also explains the continued existence of megafauna in Africa. Some Indian tribes considered llamas to be sacred and protected rather than hunted them.

  18. Wade Keener Says:

    Hello. My wife and I love looking for fossils at Edisto SC. We have some questions about what some stuff might be though.
    Could you help identify them if I email you some pics?
    Thank you.

  19. Chayton T Lindsey Says:

    Hello, Mark Gelbart! I’ve been looking at your blog for some time and I’m rather intrigued. I have a few questions that I hope you’ll answer.

    1. What’s your favorite virus/organism

    2. Are you based?
    A. in what way are you based?

    I appreciate the help!

  20. Juliet E. Morrow Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m a geoarcheologist in Arkansas writing a short (2 page) article for a newsletter called Field Notes on a fossilized stag moose (Cervalces) skull and antlers I measured last month. I was wondering if you would permit me to use a illustration from your blog of a male and female moose for the article.

    If so, would you mind affirming who to credit for the great illustration, (you, Mark Gelbart?) My email address is jemorro@uark.edu. Thanks in advance for your help,

    Julie Morrow

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