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Human evolution: Humans not to blame for key Ice Age mammals demise?

Woolly rhino/Mauricio Anton. Public Library of Science

We’ve heard how relentless Ice Age hunters killed them all off, right? Now, in “Humans not to blame for all Ice Age mammals’ demise” (CBC News, Nov 2, 2011), Emily Chung reports, humans probably didn’t extinguish the woolly rhino and the Eurasian muskox during the last Ice Age,

But humans likely played a role in the demise of other large mammals such as wild horses and ancient bison, says an international team of scientists in a study published Wednesday in Nature.

A recent paper “sort of ends the debate that there’s a single cause.”

The study found that the range of humans mostly did not overlap with the range of the woolly rhinoceros and the Eurasian muskox at the time of their decline and extinction, suggesting that climate change was entirely to blame.

They may not have adapted to warmer temperatures, it is suggested.

The trouble is, if an extinction is not occurring in the historical era, we don’t usually have much concrete information about why it is occurring.

I agree . There was not enough time, relative to biblical timelines, for people to eliminate the mega fauna everywhere. They never had a reason to struggle over this. It clearly was the warming or even dry drought that suddenly wiped out lots of creatures everywhere. In fact the musk ox, llamas(camels) sloths, and others in North America only survived because they lived in obscure areas where there was more rain and so food. The other creatures actually shrunk in size and not simply the smaller ones survived. everything happened quick. People only came into the americas about 1600 BC. Everything was gone or almost by then. Robert Byers

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