Giant Bird Driven Extinct by Egg-Eating Humans
By Karen Hopkin on February 9, 2016 – Scientific American
About 47,000 years ago, newcomer humans to Australia helped to wipe out an enormous flightless bird by collecting and cooking its eggs
Extinction. When species go bye-bye forever, we usually blame things like climate change, volcanic eruption or asteroid impact. But for the giant flightless birds that once roamed the Australian outback, it was an omelet station what did ‘em in. A new study finds evidence that about 47,000 years ago, humans helped to wipe out this avian leviathan by collecting and cooking its eggs. The study is in the journal Nature Communications. [Gifford Miller et al, Human predation contributed to the extinction of the Australian megafaunal bird Genyornis newtoni ~47 ka]
Before humans swept over the land down under, animals of enormous proportions were not uncommon. A two-ton wombat, a thousand-pound kangaroo, and a 500-pound bird now known as Genyornis newtoni were spread across the continent. But most of these so-called megafauna disappeared once humans hit the scene… read more here
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