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Huskies in Antarctica

Episode description

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In this special bonus episode, you'll hear the full interview that I had with John Killingbeck. John went to Antarctica on two expeditions, once in the 1960s and then in the 1990s. During the latter expedition, he was actually one of the very last two people to ever drive a husky team on the continent. After that, they were removed from Antarctica for good.

In 45 action-packed minutes we cover so much:

  • John's first drive when his team broke out into a fight immediately, but was the first of many - John went on to drive thousands of miles by sledge,
  • Stories about how the huskies survive all sorts of adventures and crises, dealing with breaking sea ice, crevasses and storms,
  • Memories of the huskies' journeys by plane and their last journey to Canada after their removal from Antarctica.

If you haven't yet listened to our episode about the history of huskies, where we go back 15,000 to the birth of sled dogs, then make sure you find time to listen here.


Background resources 

Recommended books about Antarctic exploration

Geoff Somers: Antarctica: The Impossible Crossing

Michael Smith: Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer

Keith Walton and Rick Atkinson: Of Dogs and Men: Fifty Years in the Antarctic – Illustrated Story of the Dogs of the British Antarctic Survey

Robert Falcon Scott: Journals Captain Scott’s Last Expedition

Julie Karner: Roald Amundsen: The Quest for the South Pole


List of resources about huskies and explorations in Antarctica

Academic articles

Germonpré, Mietje & Jimenez, Elodie-Laure & Sablin, Mikhail. (2016). Palaeolithic and prehistoric dogs and Pleistocene wolves from Yakutia: Identification of isolated skulls. Journal of Archaeological Science. 78. 1-19. 10.1016/j.jas.2016.11.008.

Ancient Wolf Genome Reveals an Early Divergence of Domestic Dog Ancestors and Admixture into High-Latitude Breeds 

Freedman, A. H., Gronau, I., Schweizer, R. M., Ortega-Del Vecchyo, D., Han, E., Silva, P. M., … Novembre, J. (2014). Genome Sequencing Highlights the Dynamic Early History of Dogs. PLoS Genetics10(1).

Freedman, A. H., & Wayne, R. K. (2017). Deciphering the Origin of Dogs: From Fossils to Genomes. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences5(1), 281–307.


Reference articles 

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