Climate change drove early human species to extinction study says

James Marshall
October 18, 2020

Homo erectus, which is thought to have adapted to the warm and humid climates of Southeast Asia, became extinct at the start of the last glacial period, which spanned from 115,000 to 11,700 years ago and made Earth cooler than it is now. right Now.

Sudden climate changes could have been a major driver of the extinction of early human species.

Her goal was to understand how early humans, including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis, reacted to climate change.

"Our findings show that despite technological innovations including the use of fire and refined stone tools, the formation of complex social networks, and - in the case of Neanderthals - even the production of glued spear points, fitted clothes, and a good amount of cultural and genetic exchange with Homo sapiens, past Homo species could not survive intense climate change", Raia said in the press release. To make this conclusion, researchers conduct climate simulations from the past five million years and examined data from 2,750 archaeological records.

Their studies offer robust evidence that three Homo species - H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis - lost a significant portion of their climatic niche just before going extinct. However, when the living area decreases and small geographically isolated spots appear, species enter what is known as an extinction vortex.

Climate change was the "most likely candidate" for the first two victories and it matched the competition to wipe out Neanderthals on Hondo Sepiens, the paper said.

The team created the climate changes in those times and studied the fossils of the extinct species.

The newspaper said this was the coldest period the species had ever experienced. "And we found that just when our own species is sawing the branch we're sitting on by causing climate change".

"Individuals belonging to these taxa lived at times, and in places, not sampled by the existing fossil record", Bernard Wood at George Washington University in Washington, DC told New Scientist.

"Also, the first appearance date of a taxon nearly certainly underestimates the appearance of a taxon and the last appearance date nearly certainly underestimates the extinction of a taxon", he says. If the range of a species were already in decline, this could give the wrong impression that the climatic niche area is also decreasing, he says. "... We discovered that, for vanished human species, extinction had a candid, unquestionable climatic drive...." It's always a combination, "says Bradshaw".

"For example, in the case of many megafauna species in the late Pleistocene, there were many interactions between human hunting and climate change".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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