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The man and the Disappearance of large animal species : findings testify that people also hunted Giant sloths

The stone-age hunter had lured the giant sloth in a trap. Helpless the animal is of the size of today's elephants in the swamp stuck. From a safe distance in f

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The man and the Disappearance of large animal species : findings testify that people also hunted Giant sloths

The stone-age hunter had lured the giant sloth in a trap. Helpless the animal is of the size of today's elephants in the swamp stuck. From a safe distance in front of the razor-sharp, huge claws on the fingers of the colossus, the people clashed with their lances. Then you disassembled the beast and sharpened but dull stone blade. A team of researchers led by Gustavo Politis of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, in Olavarria, Argentina closes, the traces have been found of the prehistoric hunting scene at the "Campo Laborde" about 300 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires.

scratch marks on the Ribs of the lazy animals

the researchers for the first Time show with a coherent chain of evidence that people hunted in the America of the stone age Giant sloths. And deliver, in the journal "Science Advances", further confirmation of the suspicion that people were not only involved in the Disappearance of the mammoths, but also of many other large animal species in the world. However, the then climate change, have added to the end of the ice age, the giants might. "Human hunters, and rising temperatures could have taken these big animals together in the clamp," says Michael Hofreiter. The evolutionary biologist at the University of Potsdam has already analyzed the genome of a number of extinct large mammals, the lifetime of up to six meters long, two meters high and four to six tons, the giant sloth megaterium americanum. The founder of the theory of evolution Charles Darwin had been interested in this species.

The Remains of this lazy animal pits researchers between 2001 and 2003, as well as 2016 to 2017 at the site of Campo Laborde. Even Gustavo Politis and his colleagues found no direct evidence for the hunting of these giants, but convincing circumstantial evidence. The broken stone blade, which was obviously attached to the tip of a lance or a spear, for example. As the researchers examined the Ribs of the Giant sloth, found out traces of stone blades that arise when people scrape the meat from the Ribs of their prey. Nearby, a stone knife with a sharp edge. This blade was ideal for de-Boning to the booty. On top of that, the stone age people used two fragments of the Ribs of the animal, obviously, as a tool. "We can, the question is whether the first settlers have hunted in America, the giants of this time, to put a "Yes" the files," says Michael Hofreiter. "A whole other question, of course, is whether this hunting has influenced the extinction of the large animals." The could not answer such a single Fund.

slow propagation to withstand the fast hunters

A note may, however, enter the age. To find out, researchers study, for example, in the bone abundant collagen-structural proteins of the carbon-14 method, and so a relatively reliable age can be determined. However, humic acid, especially in swamps abundant, binds in the course of time, this collagen. This can happen under certain circumstances, some thousands of years after the death of the animal. Then the researchers measure a combination of the relatively young age of the humic acid and the higher age of the bone and can estimate the age of the discovery. Exactly could have happened in some of the sloth-the findings, which other researchers were given a relatively young age, for example, 9000 years - that is, long after the arrival of humans on the American continent.

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Halali of the stone age Fossil traces of hunting of people put on Giant sloths close

Roland Knauer

in Order to avoid such distortions, cooked Gustavo Politis and his colleagues, the giant sloth acid bone for 24 hours in 110 degree hot, concentrated hydrochloric and away the humic acids to a large extent. From a treated metacarpal bone, you could collagen protein isolate, whose age could then determine with the carbon-14 method on an age of 12,600 years. The first humans may have reached the area about 2000 years earlier - enough time to reduce to the sloth population, even with a rather low hunting rate is crucial. Because after all, what do we know about these animals, increasing them only very slowly.

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