Man and species extinction

It stood tall at 6’5, weighed over 500lbs, had the face of a koala and the body of a sturdy kangaroo. And apparently it was delicious.

Scientists think they have discovered the reason behind the demise of the prehistoric Australian marsupial Procoptodon goliah – better known as the giant, short-snouted kangaroo. They say it was not climate change, as has always been assumed, but hungry Ice Age hunters.

There\’s long been a very odd idea about humans and species extinction. That for some reason it\’s only us modern day humans, driven as we are by exploitative capitalism, that are responsible for wiping out parts of Gaia\’s creation.

Those wonderfully egalitarian hunter gatherers of our past could of course do no wrong.

It\’s a very difficult idea to embrace on the face of it. The indigenous megafauna all started disappearing soon after the arrival of man in hte specific areas. These giant kangaroos in Australia, some of the N. American megafauna soon after the arrival of the Clovis culture, the giant moas soon after the arrival of the Maori around 1100 AD and so on. Occam\’s shaving instrument would lead to the first approximation of a theory being that they got eaten.

But for some reason there\’s this insistence that it must have been climate change, or happenstance, rather than the more obvious enemy action.

But if we accept that it was indeed dinner time that did these animals in, we might then reach a much more interesting conclusion. The development of an alternative method for the population to feed itself would have led to lower pressure from hunters. That is, that the invention of agriculture saved many species from extinction.

2 thoughts on “Man and species extinction”

  1. “That is, that the invention of agriculture saved many species from extinction.”

    Except where competition for grazing made them the enemy instead of dinner, of course…

  2. The idea that noble savages didn’t kill off animal species is rather recent, isn’t it? As in, widely argued for only a couple of generations at most? Anthropologists are very good at denying the obvious – for a generation or so they tried to deny the existence of cannibalism.

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