Earlier people are not guilty of extinction of large mammals in Africa several million years ago, proclaiming a new study.Tyler…
Earlier people are not guilty of extinction of large mammals in Africa several million years ago, proclaiming a new study.
Tyler Faith, archaeologist at the Natural History Museum in Utah and his team disputes long-standing belief that early humans contributed to the killing of megaherbivors. Instead, the changes in the environment actually caused these animals to die out.
Do not Refrain from Human Ancestors
There were a large number of megaherbivors – planting animals weighing about 2,000 pounds ̵
1; in Africa. Right now there are only five of them, namely hippo, giraffe
elephant, white rhino and black rhinoceros.
Some researchers have always attributed the disappearance of these animals to the development of tool-bearing and meat-eating hominids. Apparently this is not the case.
The study published
in the journal Science
saw 7 million years of record on herbivore exhibitions in East Africa. The researchers found that about 4.6 million years ago there had been a steady decline in megaherbivore diversity on the continent and it had begun long before human ancestors
began to be slaughtered with animals. In fact, the decline began to weigh before the appearance of some hominins that could chase the big mammals.
The research team also looked at independent environmental and climate trends records of the last 7 million years, in particular the global atmospheric carbon dioxide
and stable carbon isotope registers of vegetation structures.
The analysis revealed that 28 lines of megaherbivors were extinct. This coincided with the expansion of grasslands that caused a decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the last 5 million years.
“Low carbon dioxide levels favor tropical grass over trees, and as a result, savannas became less woody and more open through time” explained
John Rowan, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “We know that many of the extinct megaherbivors are fed on woody vegetation, so they seem to disappear along with their food source.”
In addition, the loss of megaherbivores millions of years ago can also cause extinction of other animals. African carnivores who like to eat meat of young elephants, for example, may have died because their primary change was lost.