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Tuberculosis Helped Bring Down Mastodons


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#1    Roj47

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

tuberculosis pandemic among an ancient mammoth-like creature probably contributed to the great beasts' demise, a new study suggests.

Scientists examining mastodon skeletons found a type of bone damage in several of the animal's foot bones that is unique to sufferers of tuberculosis. The disease would have weakened and crippled the animals, making them more vulnerable to humans and climate change, two factors that scientists have long speculated were behind their extinction in North America.

Mastodons were ancient elephants that resembled mammoths, but were shorter and less hairy. Both species lived in North America and disappeared mysteriously, along with other large mammals, around the time of the last major Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.

http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060...astodon_tb.html

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#2    zillarancher

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 03:30 PM

Quote


tuberculosis pandemic among an ancient mammoth-like creature probably contributed to the great beasts' demise, a new study suggests.

Scientists examining mastodon skeletons found a type of bone damage in several of the animal's foot bones that is unique to sufferers of tuberculosis. The disease would have weakened and crippled the animals, making them more vulnerable to humans and climate change, two factors that scientists have long speculated were behind their extinction in North America.

Mastodons were ancient elephants that resembled mammoths, but were shorter and less hairy. Both species lived in North America and disappeared mysteriously, along with other large mammals, around the time of the last major Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.

http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060...astodon_tb.html


Hmmm quite interesting! Good find!


#3    Raptor

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 07:45 PM

Interesting find. thumbsup.gif

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making them more vulnerable to humans and climate change, two factors that scientists have long speculated were behind their extinction in North America.


I think that nails it. It was a combination of different factors that led to their extinction.

Edited by Raptor X7, 29 September 2006 - 07:47 PM.


#4    the Shadamaun

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 07:54 PM

Figures. If we can eat it, wear it, chase it, or sneeze on it, we're gonna kill it.

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#5    RollingThunder06

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:02 AM

That is amazing. It is also neat that professionals can detect these things and give firm answers.

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#6    Gatofeo

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 03:44 AM

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Figures. If we can eat it, wear it, chase it, or sneeze on it, we're gonna kill it.


Well, if it's the ice age and you need to eat, you'll eat whatever you can. And food is scarce, remember.
Applying 21st century hindsight to the survival practices of early man is ludicrous. Early man struggled to survive from day one, and lived a short life of hardship, uncertainty, pain, discomfort and hard labor.
He filled his belly --- and those around hiim --- by any means possible. The idea of extinction probably never occurred to him, he only noticed that there were fewer and fewer of a particular species.
A few years ago, in Archaeology magazine, there was an interesting article. Researchers at a cliff dwelling in the southwest United States noticed a startling lack of edible vegetation for 30 miles in all directions from the dwelling.
Their conclusion: The dwellers had stripped the land. Thirty miles constituted the range that the dwellers could travel on foot and carry food back.
These were the much-vaunted Native Americans that stripped the land; people said to be in such harmony with their environment and nature.
People do what they must to survive.

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