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Tag: megafauna

Ancient comet impact triggered fires, climate change, megafauna extinctions

Ancient comet impact triggered fires, climate change, megafauna extinctions

Science
March 13 (UPI) -- Scientists have uncovered new evidence that a cosmic impact sparked wildfires and triggered a period of global climate change at the end of the Pleistocene epoch some 13,000 years ago. Previously, researchers had only found evidence of the period of climatic change known as the Younger Dryas, or YDB, in the Northern Hemisphere. New findings, however, suggest the Southern Hemisphere also experienced a sudden climatic shift -- and much more. "We have identified the YDB layer at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere at near 41 degrees south, close to the tip of South America," James Kennett, geology professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said in a news release. Kennett is a proponent of the Younger Dryas Boundary Impact Hypothesis, which pos...
Paleontologists identify extinction event among marine megafauna

Paleontologists identify extinction event among marine megafauna

Science
June 26 (UPI) -- The disappearance of terrestrial megafauna -- like wooly mammoths and saber tooth tigers -- during the last ice age is well documented. Now, scientists have found evidence that marine megafauna also suffered a previously unknown extinction event.Paleontologists at the University of Zurich analyzed marine fossils dated to the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs, from 5.3 million to 9,700 years BC."We were able to show that around a third of marine megafauna disappeared about three to two million years ago," lead researcher Catalina Pimiento, a scientists with Zurich's Paleontological Institute and Museum, said in a news release. "Therefore, the marine megafaunal communities that humans inherited were already altered and functioning at a diminished diversity."Fossil analysis sho...