A new research conducted by scientists from the from Max Planck Extreme Events Research Group in Germany, suggests that extinction of the largest mammals in North America wasn’t triggered by overhunting done by human populations post their entry into America. Instead, the study, based on one latest statistical modelling evaluation, suggests that the populations of big mammals fluctuated as a result of climatic change, with a dramatic decrease in temperature about 13000 years ago triggering the decline as well as extinction of such creatures.
But still, the humans might have played a part in much complex as well as indirect ways in contrast to simple overhunting models.
North America, around 10000 years ago, was a safe home to several exotic creatures like gigantic sloths, mammoths, beavers and creatures called glyptodons. However, most of the animals in North America, who weighed more than 44kg, had disappeared. The scientists wanted to discover what caused these extinctions. This topic has gone through multiple debates for years, with majority of the scientists arguing that overhunting by humans, climatic changes or a merger of these two was the cause. But now, with the new approach, the scientists discovered strong evidence of climate change being the main trigger for extinction.
The study appears in the journal Nature Communications.