Wow who would have thunk it
Natural climate change became extinct during the industrial revolution and from then on it has all been Mann Made, however before that mass extinction, climate change happened naturally
Boffins have claimed that the demise of the woolly mammoth was caused by climate change, offering up an alternate theory to the premise that its spot on the human menu was to blame for the species' extinction. British and Swedish researchers examined 300 mammoth carcasses from around the world and found that populations …
To me it never seemed likely that human hunting was responsible. It seems to be that modern prehistoric experts tend to take a to modern view of our ancestors.
Yes prehistoric man had some useful hunting weaponry but like all top predators they surely would of only taken on a mammoth when the risks out weighed the rewards and taking down a 6 ton mammoth with spears and arrows would be pretty risky. Not only that they would only do it when other forms of food was not easily available.
So I am pretty sure it would be a rare event and unlikely to have much effect on numbers. This idea of bands of people massacring herds of beats at will presumes a disconnect from their environment which surely was not as applicable as today.
"It would have made more sense for them to take the baby Mammoths. Take enough and the population will start to dwindle and become unsustainable."
............with the reaction of modern day she-elephants to anyone threatening one of their calves. The safe option it most certainly wouldn't have been!
Try watching a bull fight (before they're banned), the matadors have a pretty high survival rate compared to the much bigger bulls
And watch this:
The harassment and hunt would take place over several hours until the herd is exhausted and make easy pickings. There is a reason why of all the Mammals we are one of the best adapted to long distance endurance running.
I don't think (despite illustrations in books) that sticking stone-tipped spears into a mammoth was the way they were hunted. They were more likely stampeded over a cliff edge, as
Red Indians Native Americans did with buffalo.
Extinctions aren't necessarily the result of a single event,;climate change could have forced mammoths into a diminishing area, while simultaneously making their habitat more suitable for humans with sophisticated hunting techniques.
I believe that the term "modern humans" refers to something more in the line of this.
As for using tools, the linked article clearly states that "Homo erectus and Homo ergaster were the first of the hominina 1.3 to 1.8 million years ago. It is believed that these species were the first to use fire and complex tools", so not three million years, just two.
But hey, what's a million years between friends ?
fandom: "Isn't it kind of counter intuitive? They thrived when there was little food and died off when it was abundant."
If a species that is adapted to survival when food is scarce, some evolutionary compromises (for instance, slower metablolism) could easily make it less competitive when food is more abundant.
"Anyway, didn't elephants evolve from mammoths or are they only distant cousins?"
I would say close cousins might be a better analogy, but wikipedia has what seems to be a reasonable family tree here.
IIRC, the last small populations of mammoths in these island "refugia" were not only small in numbers, but smaller or "dwarf" in physical stature. Their smaller size would have helped in reducing feed requirements, and would have helped with the warmer climate as well. Being big helps reduce percentage heat loss as long as you are roughly spherical (like a mammoth), so being smaller helps you handle warmer temps, when you *want* to lose excess internal heat.
Unfortunately, being smaller also makes you easier to kill by normal-sized human hunters...
a) Ahh, islands, natures most cunning defensive geography. Perfect for separating a resource from external danger with a variety of barriers to ingress.
b) Ahh, islands, natures most cunning trap. Perfect for separating a resource from escape routes with a variety of barriers to egress.
Choose (a) or (b) as your situation requires :)
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