Skip to comments.Climate Change And Human Hunting Combine To Drive The Woolly Mammoth Extinct
Posted on 04/01/2008 12:57:30 PM PDT by blam
Climate Change And Human Hunting Combine To Drive The Woolly Mammoth Extinct
Woolly mammoths were driven to extinction by climate change and human impacts. (Credit: Mauricio Anton)
ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2008) Does the human species have mammoth blood on its hands" Scientists have long debated the relative importance of hunting by our ancestors and change in global climate in consigning the mammoth to the history books. A new paper uses climate models and fossil distribution to establish that the woolly mammoth went extinct primarily because of loss of habitat due to changes in temperature, while human hunting acted as the final straw.
It has been particularly difficult to untangle these two potential causes of extinction, as climate change and increased human hunting are linked. When the climate in mammoth territory started to become too warm for the furry beast, it allowed humans--who couldn't handle the lower, mammoth-friendly temperatures--to move into the area.
Therefore, the mammoth faced the heat and predation pressure from hunting in the same regions at approximately the same times, making it difficult to test the importance of the two factors independently. It had also been argued that, as the mammoth had survived many temperature fluctuations previous to those that coincided with its demise, it was only human hunting that was a substantially different condition that could have caused the extinction of the species.
Work by David Nogues-Bravo and colleagues has ended the debate, by using mathematical modelling to separate the two factors. They predicted climate and species distribution at different times in mammoth history--126,000, 42,000, 30,000, 21,000, and 6,000 years ago--considering temperature and rainfall simulations alongside the age and locations of fossils. The results show that the mammoth suffered a catastrophic loss of habitat, with the species 6,000 years ago relegated to 10% of the habitat available to it 42,000 years ago (when the glaciers were at their biggest).
In fact, things were much worse for the mammoth 126,000 years ago when globally high temperatures restricted its habitat even more than at 6,000 years ago. At both of these times, the climate-related habitat loss would have forced the species to the brink of extinction. The nail in the mammoth's coffin 6,000 years ago was that, during the later extinction crisis, the mammoth also faced evolutionarily modern humans. Nogues-Bravo et al. estimate that, for an optimistic estimate of mammoth numbers 6000 years ago, humans would only have had to kill one mammoth each every three years to push the species to extinction. If they are pessimistic about mammoth-climate survival, that figure reaches one mammoth per human every 200 years.
Thus, it seems that, in the case of the mammoth, it was the climate that forced the species to the point of extinction, and it was mankind that gave the woolly beast the last shove into oblivion.
Journal reference: Nogués-Bravo D, Rodríguez J, Hortal J, Batra P, Araújo MB (2008) Climate change, humans, and the extinction of the woolly mammoth. PLoS Biol 6(4): e79. doi:10. 1371/journal.pbio.0060079
Adapted from materials provided by PLoS Biology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
I thought we had all agreed to blame it on the comet?
We should stop this before it's too late.
How did Rosie O’Donnell survive?
He must be in need of grant money.
This should be in breaking news!
I’m surprised we didn’t see this coming, now all those cute little baby mammoths won’t live to see the next ice age :(
Oh.... wait a minute....
It was far more climate change (not in any way driven by man) than human hunting. Hunters always reach a stable state with their prey or the hunter dies out, too.
The real reason was not warmer climate, but the change in vegetation in higher latitudes due to precipitation. The woolly mammoth thrived in open grasslands, which Siberia once was. As the climate at the end of the ice age warmed, it also became wetter. The increased precipitation led to different vegetation, and the grasslands became forests. The mammoth did not thrive in wooded swamps. So they died out.
Man had very very little, if anything, to do with this. More crap from these egomaniacs who think man has the earth’s thermostat in his pocket.
What about the iron meteor fragments recently discovered in mammoth tusks and bones?????
Those were the elders of their tribe; standing, pondering while the meteorites fell...
It was Bush’s fault! He and Karl Rove used the Wayback Machine to do this!
These "experts" have two things in common. One -- they can, with absolute confidence, examine a tiny toe bone and invent a whole social structure for the individual, including what he had for breakfast, his family attitudes, where he got water and food, and how he viewed strangers from another culture - like a liberal from Berkeley would, with input from sister Theresa, complete with touchy-feely psychobabble.
Second, they treat their theories as absolute faith. The zealots of the prmised land had nothing over these guys.
The only thing that remains a mystery, and should fuel generations of pschiatrists and psychologists, is the need for these parasites, usually subsisting on grants and foundation money, to blame man for everything in the history of the cosmos. Without hesitation, doubts or qualifiers of any kind.
Needless to say, man has existed only to somehow screw up nature, and man has no rights whatsoever to assume his role in the big picture. That would require, well --- a giant leap of faith.
He must not of seen “Ice Age 2” the meltdown. The Mammoths died due to Non-Human Caused Global Warming.
I couldn’t agree more.
“When the climate in mammoth territory started to become too warm for the furry beast, it allowed humans—who couldn’t handle the lower, mammoth-friendly temperatures—to move into the area”
No doubt we humans were responsible for this global warming that helped lead the mammoth to extinction by sweating.
“humans would only have had to kill one mammoth each every three years to push the species to extinction.”
The motto of those days: Did you kill your mammoth this triennium?
The human race’s hands are covered with mammoth blood.
The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:
Flood, Fire, and Famine
in the History of Civilization
by Richard Firestone,
Allen West, and
Thanks Blam. Seems like this gets suggested every year, slightly rephrased, by somebody new.
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Little did we know all those Wolly Mammoths frozen in Siberia were cause by heat...