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A Colonial Atlas of Extinction

The famed ursine terror of the Roman Empire, the world's largest lion, and an obscure antelope nonetheless well-known to the ancient Egyptians once haunted the mountains and plains of the Maghrib. Exterminated by big-game hunters' deadly fascination, by the imperial reordering of the Mediterranean, and even by zoological curiosity, these three vanished species nevertheless continue to haunt the imagination. Extinctions are rarely as clear-cut as the paradigmatic example of the dodo suggests, and the slow fading from view of these majestic beasts provides a cautionary tale of rapaciousness and complacency.