The mammoths and the mastodons, both former relatives of the elephants, they were driven to extinction because of climate change rather than mass hunting by humans, new research published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution suggests.
Study questions claims that early human hunters killed these animals and blames extreme global environmental change at the end of the last Ice Age for the decline and eventual elimination of the species.
“Our data refutes some recent claims about the role of archaic humans in eliminating prehistoric elephants, since big game hunting became a crucial part of our ancestors’ livelihood strategy around 1.5 million ago. of years. Although this is not to say that we have conclusively disproved any human involvement”Explains Zhang Hanwen, co-author of the study from the University of Bristol.
A) Yes, the decline of mammoths and mastodons in Africa would have already started long before modern humans arrived in Eurasia around 185,000 years ago, due to the habitat changes that were relentless; They were in a constantly changing global climate and proboscides that could not adapt eventually became extinct.
Although today’s elephants are restricted to just three endangered species in the African and Asian tropics, these are survivors of an once more diverse and widespread group of giant herbivores, known as proboscidia, which also include the now-extinct mastodons. , stegodonts and deinoterides.