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Lecture 17

Lecture 17

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GEOG 205
Gail Chmura

GEOG 205 – Global Change: Past, Present and Future Winter 2013 March 13 , 2013: Megafaunal Extinctions  there are posts on mycourses that clarify questions/problems for the assignment due next class (Monday)  film from Monday covered material going to cover today  there are famous extinctions that have occurred over time  dinosaurs about 190 million years ago  what caused the extinction? human?  no, they were not around at the same time o there were mammals around at the same time, but not humans o only showed up at the beginning of the quaternary  by 11 000 years ago there was another major extinction during the last glacial maximum  mammal content of the earth was much larger  what was lost? lots of animals lost below the laurentide ice sheet  some lost around the world, others only in North America o saber tooth cat, American lion, sloths, short faced bear, mastodon & woolly mammoth  number of mammal genera lost peaked around 10 000 years ago  what was happening then? o beginning of the Holocene, so things were warming up  ice sheets melting, proglacial lakes, permafrost melting o warming of permafrost leads to collapses of land, shifts of ecosystems, shifts in biodomes o are these changes enough to extinct all of those animals?  megafauna were present throughout many fluctuations in temperature  Africa suffered the least in extinctions, but humans were always there  because humans evolved in Africa could animals have adapted to the human presence?  some argue humans rapidly had developed rather effective technologies & arrived in NA with them ie/ clovis points  additional factors to consider: loss of habitat modifiers (ecological/ecosystem engineers) o ecological engineer example = al
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