Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
UM-Bot

What wiped out the world's largest bird ?

14 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

 
TripGun

Disease seems likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seti42

My guess? Paranoia. For a while, the early humans just hunted them with no particular prejudice. Later on, the elephant birds were likely maligned...Much like the wolf was by Europeans. Remember, people nearly hunted wolves to extinction in most of Europe and in North America when the Europeans arrived. All it probably took was a death or an attack, some over-zealous tribal leaders throwing blame, and a fearful population. Then BAM! mass murder of a species for no real reason.

Edited by Seti42

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Piney
28 minutes ago, Seti42 said:

My guess? Paranoia. For a while, the early humans just hunted them with no particular prejudice. Later on, the elephant birds were likely maligned...Much like the wolf was by Europeans. Remember, people nearly hunted wolves to extinction in most of Europe and in North America when the Europeans arrived. All it probably took was a death or an attack, some over-zealous tribal leaders throwing blame, and a fearful population. Then BAM! mass murder of a species for no real reason.

Hunter-gather's usually don't have that mentality though because they don't have a ruling religious class. Just spiritual advisors. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TonopahRick

The Colonel?

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
third_eye

I hope it wasn't one of Elvis' movie contract ...

~

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FurriesRock

A huge bird makes an easy target.  I'm thinking lazy hunters trying to feed a large population of stupid people hunted it to extinction before, like most groups in ancient Africa, resorting to warfare and cannibalism to feed their population.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jon the frog

Population growth causing more hunting pressure probably...we don't know the remaining population six at the end, maybe it just came down slowly by hunting until the population was not big enough to sustain itself.

Edited by Jon the frog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sameerr

The greatest Sir David Attenborough said that the early human inhabitants on the island stole the birds eggs and there was no fossil evidence of humans battling with this giant bird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldrover
58 minutes ago, Sameerr said:

The greatest Sir David Attenborough said that the early human inhabitants on the island stole the birds eggs and there was no fossil evidence of humans battling with this giant bird.

At the risk of being lynched; David Attenborough is not a definitive source of information. No popular science reporting is. I'm not saying he's wrong, just that you (one) need to consult the source material.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carnoferox
3 hours ago, Sameerr said:

The greatest Sir David Attenborough said that the early human inhabitants on the island stole the birds eggs and there was no fossil evidence of humans battling with this giant bird.

Well now there is evidence of elephant birds being hunted and butchered. There are cutting tool marks on leg bones as well as fractures from an impact, possibly a crippling blow.

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/9/eaat6925

Quote

A tarsometatarsus (USNM A605208; Fig. 3) exhibits two linear grooves on the distal aspect of the lateral condyle of the central trochlea. A third groove is present on the medial condyle of the central trochlea (posterior to the previous two marks), and a fourth groove is present on the medial condyle of the medial trochlea. A fifth is more centrally located on the lateral trochlea. All of these grooves have centrally oriented bevels and v-shaped floors. While the penetrating marks are intact and well defined, the edges are irregular and undefined at their centers, with portions of the bone surface absent. These marks are consistent with kerfs made by single-bladed, sharp lithic tools and multiple cutting actions intended to disarticulate the central phalanges.

A tibiotarsus from the same individual (USNM A605209; Fig. 4) contains ossified medullary bone in the cortex, indicating that the individual was a gravid adult female. The diaphysis exhibits two depression fractures, one on the anterior fascia of the proximal surface and another on the lateral portion of the posterior fascia of the distal surface, which may be hobbling impact marks from immobilizing the animal. A large, laterally oriented linear anthropogenic mark is also present on the medial condyle of the distal process, ending in a large undefined fragmentation of the anterior medial portion of the condyle and exposing a rough and uneven trabecular surface. Bevels are oriented centrally with an off-center v-shaped floor biased toward the anterior. The mark penetrates through cortical tissue, leaving exposed trabeculae forming both wall aspects. Groove edges are defined at the medial limit, becoming undefined at the center. The groove is rugose with varying relief in posterior aspect, characteristic of perimortem damage caused by a lithic tool (35), and is smooth and straight in anterior aspect. The lack of undefined cracking extending away from the central extremity of the mark indicates that this kerf was made upon fresh bone, and the homogeneous coloration of the bone surface and exposed fascia also indicates that it was made before deposition. A secondary anthropogenic linear groove is present off-center of the medial fascia, oriented toward the missing anterior medial condyle and with similar kerf morphology. The posterior-lateral bevel edge is defined at the anterior-medial end and undefined from the center to the posterior-lateral end. The morphology and orientation of the cleft and kerf are consistent with disarticulation at the intertarsal joint, including high-impact chopping actions associated with disarticulation of large animals (35, 38).

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanL

The American Buffalo survived for thousands of years with the Native Americans. Suddenly in just a short period they were almost wiped out by a new culture with improved methods. What probably wiped out the Elephant Bird was not the hunting of the bird itself rather the hunting of its eggs and chicks as humans found better ways to harvest that food source. There is also the possibility of an improved weapon like the invention of the bow and arrow or the atlatl.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Myles
On 9/13/2018 at 1:10 PM, FurriesRock said:

A huge bird makes an easy target.  I'm thinking lazy hunters trying to feed a large population of stupid people hunted it to extinction before, like most groups in ancient Africa, resorting to warfare and cannibalism to feed their population.

I'm guessing you don't have much interest in how primitive people survived.   Hunting an easy to kill bird instead of a hard to kill animal is not lazy.   Opportunistic is more of what it is.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kobolds

human and their bottomless pit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.