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Study: Man, not climate change, killed the Mammoths

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, June 8, 2014, 11:16 AM - The verdict is in, and as far as a new study goes, mankind, not climate change, is guilty of driving mammoths to extinction.

"We consistently find 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 modern humans," one of the study's authors, Jens-Christian Svenning of Aarhus University, told the Daily Mail. "In general, at least 30 per cent of the large species of animals disappeared from all such areas."

What they're talking about is the Quarternary period, which began 2.5 million years ago and includes the present day. It was marked by the rise of what's known as 'megafauna,' basically large-scale animals, of which the mammoth is the most famous example. 

But, as you can tell by the fact you're not likely to be trampled by one of those giants these days, most of that megafauna began dying out around 10,000 years ago, according to National Geographic.

National Geographic is one of many organizations that say Earth's changing climate was to blame for the die-off, but the human impact was also championed in some quarters. 

This new report says the scientists analysed the geographic distribution of mammal species that went extinct between 132,000 and 1,000 years ago, and they concluded that mankind was the cause, although they also found evidence of a "weak, Eurasia-specific" link to climate change.

The study was published last week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

FEATURED VIDEO: The bear in the video below, meanwhile, is very much NOT extinct. Watch wildlife officers tranquilize him and move him to safety.

A perfectly preserved 42,000-year-old baby mammoth unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London
Five major features that were hugely different thousands of years ago

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