Thursday, 20 October 2011

Video 1: Mammoths, Overkill, and a Deep Time Perspective on Pleistocene Extinctions (with Connie Barlow)

I thought this was quite a good video to start off with because Connie Barlow (evolutionist with a keen interest in conservation) gives an overview of the extinctions that happened all over the globe, at different times and to different species. She argues that humans were the main reason for the extinction of mega fauna in the Late Pleistocene, and in fact for some species in the Holocene, up to only 800 years ago. She bases her argument on the late Paul S. Martin’s ‘Overkill theory’, which basically argues that human predation was the main reason for the mass extinctions. Although I haven’t started doing thorough research yet, I must say that many theorists now disagree with the contention that humans were the sole reason for the extinction. More recent studies with newfound radiocarbon and pollen sample evidence have found humans and the now extinct mega fauna to have co- existed for a long time, some in Australia for up to 15,000 years (Lundelius: 1987). Also many studies provide evidence of severe dramatic climatic shifts that could have destroyed animals habitats and tested their adaptability to the point of death. But this is the main issue I will be considering as I develop this blog, was the Late Pleistocene mass extinction in Australia down to the climate or down to humans? We will have to wait and see…(until I’ve done more research!)

Lundelius, Ernest L, Jr. (1987) 'The Pleistocene Mammalian Crisis: Habitat Destruction as an Extinction Mechanism', AnthroQuest,  37: 13-14.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see that you have started blogging. Have you come across this paper, just published today: