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- 2 mya
- modern humans evolve
- "the 6th wave"
term used for transitional forms
"Lucy" who came out of Africa
1st domesicated animal
5 major extinctions
- 65 million years ago (Cretaceous period)
- 213 million years ago (Triassic)
- 248 million years ago (Permian)
- 380 million years ago (Devonian)
- 440-450 million years ago (Ordovician)
What happened to the Pleistocene megafauna?
- comet impact
- “Overkill Hypothesis”
- climate change
- other anthropogenic actions
Comet Impact leading to extinction
an event similar to that which led to the extinction of dinosaurs
- black mat containing iridium
- nanodiamonds in Greenland ice sheet
- humans were responsible for the mass killings of large herbivorous mammals
- beginning about 11,000 ya in NA
- eventually led to extinction of predators & scavengers
- Who survived?
- arboreal, nocturnal,
- deep forest, high elevation
- species with high reproductive rate
- Who didn’t?
- open habitats at low elevation
- species with low reproductive rates
- (<1 young/year)
Climate change as a reason for extinction
- extinctions probably already underway in response to climate change
- timing of extinction should correlate with some significant climatic event (or events)