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Thread: Ancient Humans Are The Reason Big Mammals Are Extinct And Mammals Have Shrunk

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    Ancient Humans Are The Reason Big Mammals Are Extinct And Mammals Have Shrunk

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/22...ave-shrunk.htm

    The size of mammals has shrunk significantly over the last 125,000 years. A new study finds that the blame is entirely on humans for having caused the reduction in the size of mammals.
    As humans made their way out of Africa, the extinction of large animals followed their migrations. This followed when humans settled in the Americas. This was the large place on Earth where big animals were still thriving.

    As humans spread, the size of animals declined. The average body mass of mammals in Eurasia dropped by around half over the course of 100,000 years. In Australia, average mammals' body mass dropped 90 percent over the last 125,000 years. In North America, the average mammal dropped from 216 pounds to 17 pounds.

    The main reason for humans hunting large mammals to extinction was hunger. Large mammals made easier prey for humans. They are able to get more out of a hunt. Large mammals make for larger meals. It's also possible that humans feared the large animals. Due to their size, ancient humans may have perceived them as an existential threat and hunted them.

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     Baltimore1937 (04-25-2018),  kostoffj (04-25-2018),  lukaszM (04-24-2018)

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    Last edited by Baltimore1937; 04-24-2018 at 04:16 PM.

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    I'm rereading an old history text book ("A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations") that I managed to not throw out, in which tigers and rhinoceroses are referred to in ancient writings as being out in the neighboring woods there in ancient China of early bronze age. I mean, the last (large) Javan rhino on the continent died just a few years ago in Vietnam. And the Sumatran rhino (small) is just hanging on in Malaysia and maybe elsewhere on the continent where jungles remain. I read elsewhere that Wild elephants were found up to the Yangtze river. An illustration of a carved or bronze tapir is shown from the Waring States era, about 400-200 B.C. I never knew that tapirs were ever found in China. The Malayan Tapir is making its last stand down on the Malayan peninsula today.
    Last edited by Baltimore1937; 04-25-2018 at 06:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimore1937 View Post
    I'm rereading an old history text book ("A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations") that I managed to not throw out, in which tigers and rhinoceroses are referred to in ancient writings as being out in the neighboring woods there in ancient China of early bronze age. I mean, the last (large) Javan rhino on the continent died just a few years ago in Vietnam. And the Sumatran rhino (small) is just hanging on in Malaysia and maybe elsewhere on the continent where jungles remain. I read elsewhere that Wild elephants were found up to the Yangtze river. An illustration of a carved or bronze tapir is shown from the Waring States era, about 400-200 B.C. I never knew that tapirs were ever found in China. The Malayan Tapir is making its last stand down on the Malayan peninsula today.
    There is also a snippet of a poem, shown in the book, from the Tang dynasty era that points to gibbons screaming in the trees, the poet at the time being somewhere along the Yangtze river. But don't go spending your money looking for gibbons along the Yangtze in this day and age.

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    This is really interesting. Most human-driven changes seem to have negative impacts on the rest of Earth's life. Regardless of how we've been on this planet, however, over 99% of the species that existed on this planet are no more. We, too, might be on our way out. We speak as though the planet will be troubled by our actions, but it is we who will really suffer. The planet will remain. There will be new species who can thrive in the toxic soup we will be leaving behind.

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