Re: Large animal extinctions caused by early man

Stephen Barnard (
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 14:35:38 -0800

Bob Keeter wrote:
> Sounds reasonable to me! While I might not go so far as to
> say that mankind didnt contribute to the demise of at least
> some of the mentioned megafauna, but to give a scattering of
> nomads armed with stone tools credit for killing off the
> megafauna is a bit of an ego trip. Case in counter-point,
> animals that must definitely be classified as megafauna (i.e.
> elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, etc) survived the
> human "stone age" quite nicely in an equatoial band reaching
> across Africa, the middle east, the Indian sub-contiinent
> and southern Asia. If the theoies of paleoanthropology are
> correct, these areas probably had man as a preditor, gnawing
> at the food chain, far longer than the American Great Plains.

One point of view that I've heard is that Pleistocene megafauna
survived in Africa because they had the opportunity to co-evolve with
humans. The Pleistocene fauna in the Americas, however, were clueless
and therefore vulnerable.

I don't know whether it's true, but it's plausible.

Steve Barnard