“The spear points stuck into them seems to argue that they did focus on them other than to scavenge their remains.”
I’ll agree to disagree at this point.
The dual purpose use of a spear on large game: flensing.
It’s a fairy tale that either individual hunters or bands of hunters decided to sacrafice themselves or the safety of the hunting party to pursue dangerous game. I am often confronted by the anti-hunting community with similar presentations of “data”.
I imagine that (as tribes in africa had) they learned their lessons early and passed it on to generations: “if you mess with the mammoth, you’ll become a stain on the forest floor”
As far as the “list” provided, focusing on the mega-fauna and giant carnivores, they were on a decline without the help of man. I do believe that whatever the animals were feeding on, started to become scarce for a myriad of reasons.
Like Ruarke says: Use enough gun! our ancestors probably saw their buddy ‘Ogg’ get pummeled by a mammoth after a foolhardy assault.
My point: if large dangerous game was so easy to “take-out”, then why the heck did african and asian mega fauna survive when human population and technological advance was equal to or greater than the North American counterparts?
Maybe our North American ancstors were better at it?
A spear point that is stuck in and broken off might remain in the carcass.
A band of experienced humans with spears can take out any contemporaneous mega-fauna without much danger at all, even a mammoth.
Mega-fauna that developed alongside humans developed a fear of them. It is likely that much of the mega-fauna that went extinct at the same time humans showed up never developed that fear. We have seen the impact of an invasive species can take place rapidly, before any local animals have time to adapt.
Much of the mega-fauna on the list seemed to be doing just fine until humans showed up, then they were gone. Have any citations for them being in a long term decline BEFORE humans made the scene?
North American indians were known to “hunt” buffalo by driving whole herds off cliffs. Not the most stewardly approach, certainly, but still quite effective. It may well have worked with many of the megafauna. They didn’t necessarily have to go speart-to-tusk, mano a mano with a brute weighing some few tons.
I would submit that it’s mainly a numbers game. There simply were never enough humans around to be a serious threat to any particular species ~even~ if their hunting techniques were wasteful.
All this “living in harmony with nature” BS... is just that. They didn’t have any special sense of “balance” with nature... they just didn’t have enough numbers to do much harm, nomatter what they did. They could hunt out one area and move along to new grounds pretty much perpetually.