Re: Large animal extinctions caused by early man

Bob Keeter (
Tue, 9 Jul 1996 04:53:24 GMT

Lorenzo Love <> wrote:
>Bob Keeter <> wrote:
>If you ever tried to smoke or dry meat you would know that it is a lot of
>hard work, even with steel knives to use. It might take 5 men only 4
>hours or so to hunt and kill a mammoth (a guess). Why spend several long
>days cutting up the mammoth and making drying racks and then be tied down
>for weeks while it drys when you can just kill a new one every two or
>three days? You're not falling into that trap of thinking of ancient
>people as being environmently aware conservationists are you?

Living in a nice volcanic area, I can easily imagine flaying out a
hunter's kill with obsidian knives. Maybee not quite as convenient
as a butchers steel knife, but effective none the less.

NO I am not EVEN suggesting that our ever-so-distant forefathers
were socially correct, environmentally concious preservers of the
natural ecology. I am quite certain that if given a fair opportunity
they would have gladly eaten every last mammoth that they could lay
their greasy little paws on, right down to the very last mammoth. What
I am suggesting is that the mammoth did not survive the rigors of life
in the early Pliestocene and the predation of some very formidible,
very hungry preditors by rolling over and playing dead. Can you
imagine strolling up to a mammoth and thrusting your Clovis-tipped
spear into his gut without him making a determined effort to stomp
your brave little heart into a pulp. While we can hypothesize how
long it might take a hunting party to bring down a mammoth, we can
also hypothesize on the survivability of doing so.

I honestly believe that early native Americans did bring down
mammoths and other megafauna, I can even believe that they did
such in considerable numbers; I cant believe that their predation
was the sole, universal cause for the extinctions.