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Still Waters

Woolly Rhinos killed by climate change

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Still Waters

A woolly brown rhinoceros that weighed two tons once roamed northeastern Siberia before mysteriously disappearing around 14,000 years ago. Was its demise caused by humans, or the warming climate of the time?

A new study by a Swedish and Russian team of scientists who examined DNA fragments from the remains of 14 of these prehistoric mammals lets our species off the hook.

They say the population of the animal - also known by its scientific name Coelodonta antiquitatis - remained stable for millennia as they lived alongside humans, before dropping sharply toward the end of the last ice age.

"That makes it more likely that climatic changes that happened around 14,000 years ago are the primary driver of extinction, rather than humans," Love Dalen, a geneticist at Sweden's Centre for Palaeogenetics, told AFP.

https://www.sciencealert.com/climate-change-not-humans-killed-woolly-rhinos-says-study

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ancient-genomes-woolly-rhinos-extinct.html

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seanjo
2 hours ago, Still Waters said:

A woolly brown rhinoceros that weighed two tons once roamed northeastern Siberia before mysteriously disappearing around 14,000 years ago. Was its demise caused by humans, or the warming climate of the time?

A new study by a Swedish and Russian team of scientists who examined DNA fragments from the remains of 14 of these prehistoric mammals lets our species off the hook.

They say the population of the animal - also known by its scientific name Coelodonta antiquitatis - remained stable for millennia as they lived alongside humans, before dropping sharply toward the end of the last ice age.

"That makes it more likely that climatic changes that happened around 14,000 years ago are the primary driver of extinction, rather than humans," Love Dalen, a geneticist at Sweden's Centre for Palaeogenetics, told AFP.

https://www.sciencealert.com/climate-change-not-humans-killed-woolly-rhinos-says-study

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ancient-genomes-woolly-rhinos-extinct.html

No mystery, the end of the last ice age and temperature rise.

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Jon the frog

Not sure about the woolly but it seems that Human will wipe out the other species of rhino...

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Wepwawet

It had always seemed odd to me being told that the mammoth and woolly rhino were killed off by humans, yet oddly we failed, until the present day, to kill off their cousins in Africa when we had been living side by side with them for x hundred thousand years.

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Humbled Hypocrite83
16 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

It had always seemed odd to me being told that the mammoth and woolly rhino were killed off by humans, yet oddly we failed, until the present day, to kill off their cousins in Africa when we had been living side by side with them for x hundred thousand years.

I believe they were dead before us

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Humbled Hypocrite83 said:

I believe they were dead before us

No, in the article it states that there was an about 12,000 year period between the first humans arriving in Siberia and the extinction of the wooly rhinos, and that it seems that they died out in only a few hundred years, not due to progressive hunting by us. The last mammoths died out at about the time The Great Pyramid and Stonehenge appeared. Those last mammoths were a small group that had retreated as far north as they could get, an indicator they were pushed north by warmer temperatures.

Edited by Wepwawet
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Malaria_Kidd
Posted (edited)

Seems good ole planet earth took care of animal *extinctions back then without our present climate changing "Industrial Age"!

MK

 

*Others creatures joined the wooly mammoth and wooly rhino's fate. To include the mastadon, the giant sloth, and the saber toothed tiger just to name a few others mankind did not kill off!

Those last few did not need to escape a warming planet!

Edited by Malaria_Kidd
I added my last line to disprove lack of cold temps made them migrate north.

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MysteryMike
On 8/14/2020 at 4:32 PM, Wepwawet said:

It had always seemed odd to me being told that the mammoth and woolly rhino were killed off by humans, yet oddly we failed, until the present day, to kill off their cousins in Africa when we had been living side by side with them for x hundred thousand years.

That's because we originated there so they along with other African megafauna developed a healthy fear and learned to avoid.

Notice how Africa has the most abundant of megafauna compared to everywhere else?

Akso ever wonder why we could never domesticate zebras and had such vile tempers? Whereas we were able to domesticate horses which evolved in an environment of our absence.

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Wepwawet
4 hours ago, MysteryMike said:

That's because we originated there so they along with other African megafauna developed a healthy fear and learned to avoid.

Notice how Africa has the most abundant of megafauna compared to everywhere else?

Akso ever wonder why we could never domesticate zebras and had such vile tempers? Whereas we were able to domesticate horses which evolved in an environment of our absence.

Not sure that elephants or rhinos fear us, and crocodiles and hippos certainly don't. I don't see a scenario with us migrating and killing off en masse any mega fauna we came across, but I do see changes to the environment not caused by us being a problem. Lions and elephants used to live in the British Isles when it was still joined to Europe, then an iceage pushed them out. North American bison were certainly hunted by what became the indigenous people, who would be related to those who supposedly killed off the wooly rhinos and mammoths, but failed to kill off the bison, until Europeans turned up with firearms, same goes for elephants and other large animals in Africa where the indigenous peoples took what they needed while the Europeans killed on an industrial scale for "sport" or frivolity. In the UK back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of bird species were almost driven to extinction due to the fashion among the "cultured classes" for adorning hats with feathers.

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MysteryMike
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Not sure that elephants or rhinos fear us, and crocodiles and hippos certainly don't. I don't see a scenario with us migrating and killing off en masse any mega fauna we came across, but I do see changes to the environment not caused by us being a problem. Lions and elephants used to live in the British Isles when it was still joined to Europe, then an iceage pushed them out. North American bison were certainly hunted by what became the indigenous people, who would be related to those who supposedly killed off the wooly rhinos and mammoths, but failed to kill off the bison, until Europeans turned up with firearms, same goes for elephants and other large animals in Africa where the indigenous peoples took what they needed while the Europeans killed on an industrial scale for "sport" or frivolity. In the UK back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of bird species were almost driven to extinction due to the fashion among the "cultured classes" for adorning hats with feathers.

I stand that it was a combination of overhunting and climate change that cause the extinction. The latter would have caused environmental stress and population bottlenecks making megafauna more vulnerable to the former.

Personally I think if climate change was never an issue there would still be some megafauna today outside of Africa or at least persisting until historic times. My nominations would be woolly mammoths and short-faced bears.

Edited by MysteryMike

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Wepwawet
1 hour ago, MysteryMike said:

I stand that it was a combination of overhunting and climate change that cause the extinction. The latter would have caused environmental stress and population bottlenecks making megafauna more vulnerable to the former.

Personally I think if climate change was never an issue there would still be some megafauna today outside of Africa or at least persisting until historic times. My nominations would be woolly mammoths and short-faced bears.

Mammoths did in fact technically survive into historic times, though that would be historic times of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, not within the Russian Arctic circle. However, I do see what you mean, and I don't say you are wrong or I am right as we do hunt, and there was most certainly normal climate change not caused by us. My angle is that while I don't doubt that the prehistoric peoples of Africa, Siberia and the Americas would have killed off a number of species if they had the weapons, a capability for mass slaughter did not emerge until the European industrial revolution. That's when we see the decimation of whales, bison and the start of the decimation of mega fauna in Africa and tigers in southeast Asia.

To me, enviromental changes driven by normal climate change was the prime culprit. If it were man, then it doesn't make sense that the newly indigenous peoples of North America would wipe out the mega fauna and not smaller species, such as bison, which were easier to hunt. Cougars survived, but not the saber-toothed cats. If mega fauna outside of Africa died out due to us, then I would need to understand why it seems that the humans responsible where not Africans or Europeans, but North Asians either in their homelands or by those who migrated to the Americas. I just don't see them as hell bent on killing off some species on an industrial scale, a scale they were not capable of.

Agriculture is an issue for wildlife of course, but by the time we had agricuture, mega fauna outside of Africa, excepting the Indian elephant and rhinos, had long gone, except those last few mammoths in the arctic circle.

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MysteryMike
Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

Mammoths did in fact technically survive into historic times, though that would be historic times of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, not within the Russian Arctic circle. However, I do see what you mean, and I don't say you are wrong or I am right as we do hunt, and there was most certainly normal climate change not caused by us. My angle is that while I don't doubt that the prehistoric peoples of Africa, Siberia and the Americas would have killed off a number of species if they had the weapons, a capability for mass slaughter did not emerge until the European industrial revolution. That's when we see the decimation of whales, bison and the start of the decimation of mega fauna in Africa and tigers in southeast Asia.

To me, enviromental changes driven by normal climate change was the prime culprit. If it were man, then it doesn't make sense that the newly indigenous peoples of North America would wipe out the mega fauna and not smaller species, such as bison, which were easier to hunt. Cougars survived, but not the saber-toothed cats. If mega fauna outside of Africa died out due to us, then I would need to understand why it seems that the humans responsible where not Africans or Europeans, but North Asians either in their homelands or by those who migrated to the Americas. I just don't see them as hell bent on killing off some species on an industrial scale, a scale they were not capable of.

Agriculture is an issue for wildlife of course, but by the time we had agricuture, mega fauna outside of Africa, excepting the Indian elephant and rhinos, had long gone, except those last few mammoths in the arctic circle.

You'd have a point but notice how each extinction on every continent coincided with our arrival?

39306294f7db394e22b384a37e410440.jpg

vsqwp390bls41.gif?format=png8&s=5dd6a2b5

Australia and New Zealand also were probably the only continents where megafauna extinction was human contributed having not been affected by climate change due to being located further south. The latter when the Maori arrived was when moas and haast's eagles went extinct.

As for megafauna like cougars and bison. I recall cougars along with jaguars were massively declined but managed because cougar populations thrived in the mountains isolated from humans who arrived and jaguars in jungles. Some megafauna was also probably more adaptable too hence bison still being around.

That again is why Africa is rich in megafauna. We evolved there, we evolved alongside them, they learned to avoid us and such. All other megafauna outside of Africa evolved in our absence thus didn't view us as the threat as African megafauna did.

That said climate change causing environmental stress and population bottlenecks combined with our arrival making them more vulnerable were the two main factors into this.

Edited by MysteryMike

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Wepwawet
18 hours ago, MysteryMike said:

Australia and New Zealand also were probably the only continents where megafauna extinction was human contributed having not been affected by climate change due to being located further south. The latter when the Maori arrived was when moas and haast's eagles went extinct.

As for megafauna like cougars and bison. I recall cougars along with jaguars were massively declined but managed because cougar populations thrived in the mountains isolated from humans who arrived and jaguars in jungles. Some megafauna was also probably more adaptable too hence bison still being around.

That again is why Africa is rich in megafauna. We evolved there, we evolved alongside them, they learned to avoid us and such. All other megafauna outside of Africa evolved in our absence thus didn't view us as the threat as African megafauna did.

That said climate change causing environmental stress and population bottlenecks combined with our arrival making them more vulnerable were the two main factors into this.

I will certainly agree that humans were responsible for the extinction of megafauna in Australia and New Zealand, though in a way it's a "mammal problem". For instance, the moa had no land predators and only had to worry about attack from the air, likewise many other indigenous species. We upset the balance by becoming a predator they did not know how to deal with. If, say, other mammals other than us had somehow got to New Zealand, extinctions would still have occured, though at a slower rate, and of course this is an ongoing issue due to the introduction of rats and cats.

I don't disagree that we did have some impact in Eurasia and the Americas, though I think we will have to agree to disagree on our hunting being the prime cause of the extinctions. To me, large animals dying out is a signal of a change in environment that has caused issues with the food needed by those animals. This is what happens in the mass extinctions were, in the K-Pg event  for instance, only animals under about 25Kg survived as they had lower food requirements. I'm aware that there are inconsistencies and lots of animals that should have survived did not, for instance small dromaeosaurs and troodontids, but that's another discussion.

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seanjo
On 8/14/2020 at 8:16 PM, Jon the frog said:

Not sure about the woolly but it seems that Human will wipe out the other species of rhino...

The Chinese and Indians you mean...

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seanjo
On 8/16/2020 at 3:35 PM, MysteryMike said:

You'd have a point but notice how each extinction on every continent coincided with our arrival?

39306294f7db394e22b384a37e410440.jpg

vsqwp390bls41.gif?format=png8&s=5dd6a2b5

Australia and New Zealand also were probably the only continents where megafauna extinction was human contributed having not been affected by climate change due to being located further south. The latter when the Maori arrived was when moas and haast's eagles went extinct.

As for megafauna like cougars and bison. I recall cougars along with jaguars were massively declined but managed because cougar populations thrived in the mountains isolated from humans who arrived and jaguars in jungles. Some megafauna was also probably more adaptable too hence bison still being around.

That again is why Africa is rich in megafauna. We evolved there, we evolved alongside them, they learned to avoid us and such. All other megafauna outside of Africa evolved in our absence thus didn't view us as the threat as African megafauna did.

That said climate change causing environmental stress and population bottlenecks combined with our arrival making them more vulnerable were the two main factors into this.

There wasn't enough of us, this is humanity hating bull. Lack of adaptation during drastic climate change caused extinction.

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MysteryMike
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, seanjo said:

There wasn't enough of us, this is humanity hating bull. Lack of adaptation during drastic climate change caused extinction.

A species under environmental stress is particularly susceptible to over hunting, and particularly so when the predator is a new species. If the mammoth - to arbitrarily pick an example - was able to persevere despite losing 1,000 members of the species in a year to 'whatever' they may survive. But if humans come along and raise the mammoth death rate to 1001 animals a year the mammoth will, eventually, go extinct. Maybe early North Americans did not go 'kill crazy', but it doesn't take much more additional stress on a population for that population to go extinct.

Again notice the arrival of us coincided with the extinctions on the images I posted?

And whose saying I'm hating humanity? I'm just pointing out extinction in Eurasia and the New World was a result of a combination of human hunting and climate change. We certainly played a part.

Edited by MysteryMike

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Jon the frog
3 hours ago, seanjo said:

The Chinese and Indians you mean...

And the wealthy hunter of the 1800 and 1900... they got most of them first !

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DanL
Posted (edited)

I have always questioned the idea that in a world full of all sorts of animal life that a primitive (only in the sense of compared to a modern mechanized world) people would choose to hunt something that actually offered such a dangerous and poor return for their efforts.

The problem with hunting those big hairy rhinos or some form of big hairy elephant is that when you only have spears and maybe bows and arrows they take a lot of killing. You are going to have to poke a LOT of holes in them to kill them and most of the killing holes will be made with spears. If you get that close to an angry huge beast you are going to suffer a lot of casualties. once the kill is made you now have thousands of pounds of meat wrapped in a thick hide and are probably a long way from your tribe.

You send a runner or two for help and begin to try and butcher the beast and send out an advertisement to every predator for many miles around that there is food for the taking. If you think that killing a rhino or mastodon or mammoth was a chore wait until the Dire Wolves, Saber-tooth Tigers and Cave Bears show up wanting your kill!!! In the case of the wolves, you may be lucky if they will settle for just the carcass of your kill!

Like I said, the return from hunting such huge and dangerous animals would just not be a very smart choice when there were so many easier choices around. something killed them to extinction but I doubt it was man. The elephants and rhinos survived people in Africa and Southern Asia with very little problem until the invention of the firearm. Whatever it was, it also killed the saber tooth tiger, the Dire Wolves and the Cave Bears. And that is a different discussion.

Edited by DanL
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