Skip to comments.Climate killed off mammoths, not humans: scientist
Posted on 05/10/2006 1:38:20 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy
Climate shifts were probably responsible for the extinction of the mammoth and other species more than 10,000 years ago, not over-hunting by humans, according to new research published on Wednesday.
Radiocarbon dating of 600 bones of bison, moose and humans that survived the mass extinction and remains of the mammoth and wild horse which did not, suggests humans were not responsible.
"That is what this new data points out," said Dr Dale Guthrie of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
"It is not that people weren't hunting these creatures. But climate would have reduced the numbers considerably," he added in an interview.
Various theories have been put forward to explain the disappearance of the mammoth and the wild horse, Equus ferus, which coincided with the arrival of humans from central Asia in North America more than 12,000 years ago.
One hypothesis suggested a virulent disease was responsible for the extinctions. Another theory was that by killing grazing animals, humans triggered changes in vegetation that resulted in the mass deaths.
The Blitzkrieg, or overkill theory, said human hunters devastated most large mammal species and drove some to extinction.
"But contrary to that theory, my dates show numbers of bison and wapiti (elk) were expanding both before and during human colonization," Guthrie explained.
His radiocarbon research, reported in the journal Nature, shows there was a 1,000-year different between the demise of the wild horse and the woolly mammoth which Guthrie said is inconsistent with other theories.
Instead, he suggests climate shifts transformed the dry, arid and cold region. The wetter, warmer summers led to changes in vegetation to which mammoths and wild horses could not adapt.
"The new patterns of dates indicate a radical ecological sorting during a uniquely forage-rich transitional period, affecting all large mammals, including humans," Guthrie added.
Women and minorties hardest hit.
See, this headline is a logical fallacy, because ONLY humans can cause climate change. The climate doesn't change all by itself. Those humans and their prehistoric pollution caused the climate change that killed the mammoths. And they didn't even bother to enact endangered species legislation to protect the mammmoths. Prehistoric, indeed.
No it was those Gieco Cavemen in the pink shirts!..........
Horses don't do well in warm, wet areas. They prefer glacial conditions.
Or something like that.
OK, but wasn't the climate change the result of human activities?
well at least not directly. Ooga Booga Gorega was able to prove more than a casual relationship existed between the Mammoth's decline and man's discovery of fire.
Mammoths hate that.
Oh the inanity!
You forgot to mention Kyoto. Slacker :)
How could this be? They either eat duck with mango sauce or they don't eat because of a lack of appetite!
It was the Fed Ex deliveries that did in the cavemen.
Horses are much tastier than bison or wapiti and horses don't have those dangerous horns (except, of course, for unicorns).
Dam* you, dam* you all to h*** you SUV driving Neandralthals.
Put a Clovis point on an atlatl dart. Fill the fluted grooves with aconite poison from Monk's Hood roots (for example). Launch that missle at a herd of megafauna from 100 yards away. BBQ mammoth will be on the menu for the next week. The animals that became extinct were herd animals that were easy to kill with weapons such as the atlatl. While the herds lasted, it was an easy way to make a living.
This is good to know. Now when the Mammoth Reparations Society comes a knockin' on my door, I'll just show them this article.
BTW, who really cares how or why mammoths became extinct, besides pinheads who want gubbmint $$$ to study it?
Question is, what kind of GRADUALISTIC climate shift could do something like that, i.e. wipe several dozen species of large to very large animals off an entire continent? There've been all kinds of gradual climate shifts over the last few thousand years, and no mass exterminations have resulted.