Maybe it is a good idea that mankind is conquering the universe in order to survive. The planet has become to small as in former times the hunting-field and game-yards became to small and forced mankind to innovation.
As mankind had developed a lot of technologies and new means of production (agriculture) because of shrinking ressources and extincted big elephants, maybe mankind must now develop radical innovations again (like AI and others) and new means of production in order to survive. As always, we the predators. The study gives some evidence for that kind of speculations.
Be it as it may, the results are stunning on it´s own right and shedding light on many questions. For sure is, reality and evolution is not as trivial as some woke political movements seek to make everybody belief.
The pressrelease says: “A groundbreaking study by researchers from Tel Aviv University tracks the development of early humans’ hunting practices over the last 1.5 million years – as reflected in the animals they hunted and consumed. The researchers claim that at any given time early humans preferred to hunt the largest animals available in their surroundings, which provided the greatest quantities of food in return for a unit of effort.
In this way, according to the researchers, early humans repeatedly overhunted large animals to extinction (or until they became so rare that they disappeared from the archaeological record) and then went on to the next in size – improving their hunting technologies to meet the new challenge.
The researchers also claim that about 10,000 years ago, when animals larger than deer became extinct, humans began to domesticate plants and animals to supply their needs, and this may be why the agricultural revolution began in the Levant at precisely that time.
The study was conducted by Prof. Ran Barkai and Dr. Miki Ben-Dor of the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Prof. Shai Meiri of the School of Zoology and Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, and Jacob Dembitzer, a research student of Prof. Barkai and Prof. Meiri, who led the project. The paper was published in the prestigious scientific journal Quaternary Science Reviews. (…)
Jacob Dembitzer: “Our next question was: What caused the disappearance of the large animals? A widely accepted theory attributes the extinction of large species to climate changes through the ages. To test this, we collected climatic and environmental data for the entire period, covering more than a dozen cycles of glacial and interglacial periods. This data included temperatures based on levels of the oxygen 18 isotope, and rainfall and vegetation evidenced by values of carbon 13 from the local Soreq Cave. A range of statistical analyses correlating between animal size and climate, precipitation, and environment, revealed that climate, and climate change, had little, if any, impact on animal extinction.”
The researchers collected all data available in the literature on animal bones found at prehistoric sites in the Southern Levant, mostly in Israel. These excavations, conducted from 1932 until today, provide a unique sequence of findings from different types of humans over a period of 1.5 million years.
With some sites comprising several stratigraphic layers, sometimes thousands of years apart, the study covered a total of 133 layers from 58 prehistoric sites, in which thousands of bones belonging to 83 animal species had been identified. Based on these remains, the researchers calculated the weighted mean size of the animals in each layer at every site.
Prof. Barkai concludes: “We believe that our model is relevant to human cultures everywhere. Moreover, for the first time, we argue that the driving force behind the constant improvement in human technology is the continual decline in the size of game. Ultimately, it may well be that 10,000 years ago in the Southern Levant, animals became too small or too rare to provide humans with sufficient food, and this could be related to the advent of agriculture. In addition, we confirmed the hypothesis that the extinction of large animals was caused by humans – who time and time again destroyed their own livelihood through overhunting. We may therefore conclude that humans have always ravaged their environment but were usually clever enough to find solutions for the problems they had created – from the bow and arrow to the agricultural revolution. The environment, however, always paid a devastating price.“”
Source/Sender: TAU. Selected, shortend by VonNaftali