Humans responsible for extinction of Ice Age mammals
22 January 2015
Research involving the Institute's Dorian Fuller appears to suggest that human intervention contributed to the extinction of Ice Age mammals.
It has previously been suggested that woolly mammoths and other ice age giants may have died out following an asteroid or comet impact.
In a study published recently in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Dorian and his collaborative partners from the University of California, Davis, the University of Aarhus and the University of Lyon have described their analysis of siliceous scoria, granules of porous material associated with melting, from four northern Syrian sites.
They presented analyses on archaeological scoria droplets from pre-ceramic
sites dating to the terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene of the Near
East, and suggested that they derived from on-site fires, and not from an extraterrestrial
impact. This led them to propose that human population growth, the modification of environments and the
changing of foodwebs were in fact the catalysts for megafaunal extinctions.