Did climate change wipe out the mammoths ?
September 11, 2013 | 18 comments
Some mammoths were believed to have survived until 1650 BC. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Flying Puffin
New evidence suggests that climate change, not human hunting, was responsible for wiping out mammoths.
Scientists have long speculated that mammoths were driven to extinction along with several other species thanks to excessive human hunting, with evidence pointing to a large and stable population up until the time when early humans would have first encountered them.
New DNA evidence obtained through the study of frozen mammoth remains however has cast doubt on this theory by showing that mammoth populations waxed and waned over multiple ice ages and that climate change was the most significant factor in the lead up to their eventual demise.
"The picture that seems to be emerging is that they were a fairly dynamic species that went through local extinctions, expansions and migrations," said lead researcher Dr Love Dalen. "It is quite exciting that so much was going on."
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