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Did humans kill off the Mega-fauna - Essay Example

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Many of the largest animals on the planet appear to have vanished. Since then scientists and zoologists have debated the question: what happened to the megafauna? There are countless theories that claim…
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Did humans kill off the Mega-fauna
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Download file to see previous pages The answer is difficult to know for sure, but it seems increasingly likely that human beings played a large role in the extinction of megafauna.
The idea that human beings are responsible for the deaths of these large animals is a controversial one. There are other theories that lay out competing claims. As Floyd Largent writes in his article on comet impacts, these kinds of extinction events may be explained by the high impact collision of an extraterrestrial body. He describes a recently published theory that states, “a comet hit North America 12,900 years ago, dooming the Pleistocene megafauna and decimating the local human population” (Largent, 1). This may well have happened and be true. Indeed, huge numbers of megafauna may have died in this event. But the question we must ask ourselves is: does this theory fit the pattern that has begun to emerge over the last few years regarding the extinction of megafauna?
Leaving judgment on this theory aside for the moment, it is useful to examine additional evidence that is somewhat related. According to recent studies, a massive climate shift occurred about 12,000 years ago that killed off massive amounts of the large animals in North America. In his article on the subject C. Vance Haynes canvases a number of theories. He looks at the possibility of a cosmic collision, massive climate change, and human hunters. However, he feels unable to come to a conclusion due to the proliferation of theories and the still undiscovered geochronological evidence. He does however say, “I remain skeptical of the ET impact hypothesis as the cause of the YD onset and the megafaunal extinction. However, I reiterate, something major happened at 10,900 B.P. that we have yet to understand” (Haynes, 6525). That is very nice, but not especially helpful. He believes humans had an impact, but were not the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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