back to article Mammoths, sabre-tooths MURDERED by second giant space boulder

A 16-strong team of international boffins have added more evidence for the controversial theory that a gigantic asteroid smashed into the Earth 12,900 years ago and wiped out a range of furry mammals, including the mammoths. The researchers found an ancient layer of thin, dark sediment buried at the bottom of Lake Cuitzeo in …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Nano diamonds

    The perfect gift for fashionable protozoans?

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    We're next

    First they came for the Dinosaurs ... and we did nothing,

    Then they came for the Mammoths ... and we did nothing,

    I guess we're next ... I'll just finish my drink and then get my coat.

    1. Graham Wilson

      @ Version 1.0 -- Re: We're next --- Hey??

      Hey Version 1.0, not left yet?

      Be reasonable, tell us all how you got access to the Tardis/Enterprise.

      We'll probably join you.

  3. Tom 7

    The evidence of biomass burning

    in northern america is inconclusive and mastodons were still around 11000 years ago.

    While it is possible an asteroid is responsible for some local mega-fauna extinction there seems to be a huge effort expended in avoiding pointing the finger at the one thing that consistently wipes out megafauna it cant ride once its out of Africa.

    1. Matthew Smith

      Re: The evidence of biomass burning

      Its reasonable to blame humans who showed up at the same time as the megafauna extinctions in the Americas. But the megafauna in Africa co-existed just fine. Humans don't ride giraffes. If its humans, why did they extinct the mammoths but not elephants?

      1. Robinson

        Re: The evidence of biomass burning

        " why did they extinct the mammoths but not elephants?"

        I would suggest that's simply due to the local environment and the availability of other food sources. One might just as well ask how Elephants and so on survived in Africa and Asia but wiped out everywhere else by this asteroid. It doesn't really make any sense.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: The evidence of biomass burning

        I propose that mammoths were wiped out by a critical shortage of apostrophes. OH GOD ITS HAPPENING AGAIN AND WERE NEXT.

  4. Anonymous John

    Mexico again

    What have incoming impactors got against it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mexico again

      It's probably the Martian DEA...

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: Mexico again

      Maybe they like enchiladas?

      Mine is the one with the sombrero

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. AndrueC Silver badge

    That's good news isn't it? Vaguely, anyway. It appears we get hit every 65 million years and one hit us 12,000 years ago. So we're safe then? Statistically, anyway :)

    Frankly if we haven't worked out how to become independent of this ball of rock in 65 million years time we deserve to be wiped out.

    1. perlcat

      Not necessarily -- EVERYBODY PANIC

      The period was roughly 65M years -- not 65,000,002 or any other degree of precision. Stands to reason that if there are other big honking rocks out there in that cluster, that they may be ahead or behind the others, and so this could have just been a warmup for the big one. I wouldn't feel safe until we're a few million years past that period.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Not necessarily -- EVERYBODY PANIC

        As long as we've got Bruce Willis, everything will work out OK.

  7. Annihilator
    Paris Hilton

    "cosmic impact"

    Am I alone in reading that and hearing Rodney Trotter being sarcastically impressed by an impact?

    1. Steve 26

      Re: "cosmic impact"

      Most likely yes.

    2. Morphius

      Re: "cosmic impact"

      Not any more, Annoyingly.

      Now I am leaving, Bonjour

  8. FunkyEric


    I for one welcome our new flaming several hundred metre in diameter asteroidial overlords.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: Well

      Well I don't. So there!

  9. David Pollard

    Nukes in space

    Never mind the search for life on Mars, this asteroid business is deadly serious. We need to have nukes in space without delay.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: Nukes in space

      With internet connections...

      1. perlcat

        Re: Nukes in space

        Manned by sharks with friggin' lasers.

  10. Albert.G

    So it wasn't over hunting ?

    I've always been induced to think that over hunting by man is what made those big species disappear.

    So it seems we're not at fault this time.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: So it wasn't over hunting ?

      That was last week.

      This is this week.

      Next week we go back to last week.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    With this level of science you can explain away anything.

  12. Robert Heffernan

    Where's the crater?

    So if there was an impact event that recently, there should in theory still be a pretty big and reasonably fresh hole in the ground some place. Sure, the thing would be somewhat eroded and filled with plant life by now but it should be pretty obvious none the less, assuming it hit land. If it hit the ocean then there should be a nice smash mark on the ocean floor and a record of a mega tsunami in the ground around the coastlines about 12,900 years ago.

    1. bill 36

      Re: Where's the crater?

      The sediment layer under Lake Cuitzeo

      Did you not read that bit?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "a nice smash mark on the ocean floor"

      Really ? For a rock that's only several hundred meters wide, you expect it to plunge full speed through at least 3000 meters of increasingly dense water and only be stopped by the ocean floor ?

      You've never done a belly flop before, have you ? You should try it. It'll give you some new respect for the resistance of water.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    where did it hit?

    We know where the K-T asteroid impacted, where is the crater for this one?

    1. Stuart Elliott

      Re: where did it hit?

      One assumes that prior to 12000 years ago, it was just River Cuitzeo.

  14. Stevie


    Now if we could just figure a way of interpreting the data to show that die-off was particularly heavy amongst the Religious Right of said megafauna we would have all the space funding we could use and then some.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dire Wolves?

    I know somebody who goes to the Molineux each week, and they will confirm that dire wolves are definitely not extinct.

    [For our US cousins - Wolves is the nickname of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club - who play at the Molineux, and who are dire]

  16. Rob

    Too young

    After reading this article I think my son will be a little too young to watch Ice Age 4 then, far too much death of his favourite characters for to talk my way out of.

  17. JeffyPooh

    Clone the mammoths!

    Clone the mammoths!

    We want mammoths.

    We want mammoths.


  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    We must clone the Mammoth to settle the question once and for all.

    Rare, medium or well done.

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