Climate not really what doomed large North American mammals | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


News

Climate not really what doomed large North American mammals

Prevalence of a dung fungus over time suggests megafauna extinctions at end of last ice age started before vegetation changed

By
2:24pm, November 19, 2009

Evidently, my dear Watson, the climate didn’t do it. Scientists weighing in on a cold case open since the end of the most recent ice age — the massive die-offs of North America’s largest mammals — arrived at that conclusion courtesy of some very tiny clues. The spores of a fungus that thrived in and on those creatures’ dung suggest changes in habitat didn’t cause the extinctions. As a result, it’s looking more and more like humans played a major role.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News