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Humans Hunters Pushed Ice Age Animals to Extinction


A new study has revealed that human hunters are responsible for wiping out the population of large animals in Ice Age. Sabre-toothed cats, huge kangaroos, and a leopard-sized marsupial lion are some of the animals that were pushed to extinction by human hunters during the Ice Age. The findings of the study have debunked the belief that climate change led to extinction of many ice age animals.
The study saw examination of the pattern of extinction for 177 species between 132,000 years and 1,000 years ago. Researchers found that most of the animals that time died because of increased human population.
"We consistently find very large rates of extinction in areas where there had been no contact between wildlife and primitive human races, and which were suddenly confronted by fully developed modern humans", said Jens-Christian Svenning, professor at the Aarhus University in Denmark,.
Svenning said at least 30% of the large species of animals was forced to extinction from all such areas. It was during the Pleistocene Epoch, when the last Ice Age occurred. This period is defined as the one that began 1.8 million years ago and lasted until around 11,700 years ago.
During the course of a little more than the last 100,000 years, modern man started to spread from Africa to all parts of the world.
The findings of the study suggested that modern man killed several large species when arrived in the new continents. The reason behind the extinction of many ice age animals could be either their population's incapability to sustain human hunting or humans might have killed their prey. The researchers have reported their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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