Man may have caused prehistoric extinction

May 5, 2006

U.S. and British scientists say they've determined prehistoric horses in Alaska may have become extinct due to hunting by man, rather than climate change.

The discovery by Andrew Solow of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts; David Roberts of the Royal Botanic Garden; and Karen Robbirt of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The previously accepted view has been that wild horses became extinct long before the extinction of mammoths and the arrival of humans from Asia -- eliminating the possibility they were over-hunted by man. One theory had been that a period of climate cooling caused their extinction.

However, the researchers say uncertainties in dating fossil remains and the incompleteness of fossil records means the survival of the horses beyond the arrival of humans cannot be ruled out.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Investigating disease risk from Parklands bats

Related Stories

Investigating disease risk from Parklands bats

August 27, 2015

New research at the University of Adelaide is studying the bat colony in Adelaide's north-eastern parklands (Botanic Park, not Botanic Gardens) to investigate the diseases they may be carrying, their ecology and where they ...

Why you should celebrate World Sparrow Day

March 20, 2015

For the past five years there has been a growing movement to recognise March 20 as World Sparrow Day – a day to celebrate the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) with art, poems, stories and events like office parties and ...

Recommended for you

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.