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New Study Says Humans, Not Ice Age, Caused Woolly Mammoths to Die Out

This is why we can't have nice things planets.

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The first ever study on the post-Pleistocene epoch mass extinction has been completed, and sadly the findings show that our species has always sucked ass like whoa. According to research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society b,  “at least 30 percent of the large species of animals” were wiped out by humans.

Professor Jens-Christian Svenning of Aarhus University looked at the pattern of extinctions for 177 species, and found

very large rates of extinction in areas where there had been no contact between wildlife and primitive human races, and which were suddenly confronted by fully developed humans. In general, at least 30 percent of the large species of animals disappeared from all such areas.

His colleague Dr. Soren Faurby confirmed in The Daily Mail,

Our results strongly undermine the fact human expansion throughout the world has meant an enormous loss of large animals.

The study focused on large animals (weighing 22 pounds or more) that died out between 132,000 and 1,000 years ago — creatures like woolly mammoths, giant kanagaroos, giant sloths and sabre toothed cats. Svenning hypothesizes that hunting or destruction of vegetation might account for why arrival of humans appears to have preceded an overwhelming number of extinctions — a trend that continues to this day, with the study estimating that 64% of all extinctions globally can be blamed on our species.

Another popular theory, despite lack of evidence, is that die-outs of large animals were caused by climate change. However, the researchers say it’s unlikely that there would be evidence for a mass extinction after the most recent Ice Age but not previous ones, and estimate that only 30% of extinctions have been caused by changes in climate.

In unrelated news, where we at with cloning that woolly mammoth, guys? Judging from our historically destructive powers, I think we might already be playing God.

 (via Daily News  and Phys.org, images via Travis)

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