In what appears to be a recent spike in worldwide interest for Malta on various national broadcasters, the wee island of the Mediterranean gets a free (and honourable) mention on this weeks’ episode of ‘Russell Howard’s Good News’ on BBC Two!
‘Russell Howard’s Good News’ is popular satire topical news show, originally aired on BBC Three in 2009. The show is hosted by comedian Russell Howard, who reviews the week’s global and national (British) headlines with his witty and unique style. Most shows feature a guest towards the end of the episode, and the recent sixth episode of the ninth series of Good News featured palaeontologist Dr Victoria (Tori) Herridge.
Dr Herridge is known for her recent contribution towards the study of a well preserved specimen of woolly mammoth discovered in Maly lyakhovsky Island in northern Siberia. The research was partly documented in a Channel 4 programme entitled ‘Woolly Mammoth: The Autopsy‘.
Tori Herridge has spent most of her academic career focusing her research on the evolutionary history of mammals, with a specific focus on insular dwarfism in the Mediterranean region, particularly dwarf elephants. Malta is one such Mediterranean island with reported cases of insular dwarfism (more information on this topic from one of my previous posts). and Tori has already based some of her research in the country.
During the show (which you can see above), Russell asked Tori about her upcoming research plans, to which she said:
“We’ve got some more fieldwork in Sicily and Malta, next year. We’re going back to Malta to this cave, which actually if you go on holiday to Malta you can go over, everyone can visit it. It’s called Ghar Dalam cave, and it is full of dwarf hippo, dwarf elephants and dwarf deer skeletons, and we are trying to work out how old they are by taking bits of stalagmites and dating them. This will happen hopefully in March, if we get the permits (crosses fingers)”.
MEPA and/or Heritage Malta should get on this and make sure this gifted paleontologist gets the necessary permits to further her research, which will ultimately provide further insight to the geological origins of the Maltese Islands.
Dr Tori Herridge – what a LEGEND!
Read more about Tori’s recent Mammoth research from her latest article on The Guardian.
More information from her previous work: http://www.academia.edu/4698811/Herridge_V.L._and_Lister_A.M._2012_._Extreme_insular_dwarfism_evolved_in_a_mammoth._Proceedings_of_the_Royal_Society_B._doi_10.1098_rspb.2012.0671