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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Human persecution, climate change and disease are the big three hypotheses behind the demise of North American Mega-Fauna 10,000 years ago(Saber tooth Cats, Dire Wolves, Mastodons, The American Lion and Cheetah, et al)............. Human persecution is the theory of choice from most scientists...........Now, evidence has been unearthed that the Mastodon population had already been greatly depleted 50,000 years ago with humans not entering the Continent until at most 25,000 years ago................Did climate and disease begin the downward spiral of these animal groups with humans then finishing them off?

Wednesday December 3rd, 2014
link to article below

Maybe Humans


 Drive Mastodons To


Posted: Updated: 

Maybe humans weren't to blame for the demise of the American mastodon after all.
For years, conventional wisdom held that mastodons were hunted to extinction in North America some 10,000 years ago. But a new study echoes previous researchindicating that mastodons and most of the other big animals that once lived on the continent, known as megafauna, may have already died out before humans migrated to North America from Asia.
"We're not saying that humans were uninvolved in the megafauna's last stand 10,000 years ago. But by that time, whatever the mastodon population was down to, their range had shrunken mostly to the Great Lakes region," study co-author Dr. Ross MacPhee, a curator in the mammalogy department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, said in a written statement. "That's a very different scenario from saying the human depredations caused universal loss of mastodons across their entire range within the space of a few hundred years, which is the conventional view."
For the study, which was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 1, 2014, the researchers used two types of radiocarbon dating on 36 fossilized mastodon teeth and bones that had been unearthed in Alaska and the Yukon.
What did the research reveal about North America's mastodons?
"We learned that they weren't even here by the time people showed up," Dr. Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with Canada's Yukon Palaeontology Program and the study's lead author, told CBC News.
In fact, the fossils are far older than previously thought, with most surpassing 50,000 years old. And archaeologists estimate that humans started moving to North America no earlier than about 25,000 years ago.
mastodon extinction
Zazula cutting samples of American mastodon bones for radiocarbon dating.
"There was a massive [mastodon] die-off of a good part of their population in the northern part of the continent around 75,000 years ago," Zazula told the Los Angeles Times. "We suspect that once the northern group died off, the species was already heading toward trouble... What ultimately pushed them over the edge, though--hunters picking off the last of them or climate change at the end of the ice age being just too much for them--is an unanswered question. There isn't a smoking gun."

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