» Home > In the News

Big Game hunting game

25 March 2012

The climate versus human hunter theory has surfaced once again in Australia and once again achieves very little in settled science but does manage once again to denigrate the Aboriginal population – see www.physorg.com/print251656739.html. A team of scientists from six universities say they have put an end to the long running debate – a bit of wishful thinking, perhaps. Hunters, they claim, killed off the large herbivores such as giant wombats and the like and shortly afterwards, there was a rapid shift in climate, caused by guess what, the lack of herbivores to munch the vegetation. Until around 40,000 years ago it was a patchwork of rainforest separated by areas of savannal grassland. It was subsequently covered by eucalyptus – the forest sprouting quickly because of the lack of large animals. The eucalyptus forest is dry, unlike rainforest, and susceptible to landscape fire to which it is adapted. The paper was published in Science and appears to be based on research into fungi that live in animal dung (especially that of giant wombats). Spores of the fungi have survived in various swamp and lake sediments and while this shows that large herbivores did indeed disappear it does not account for the why or wherefore. It could also be argued the authors have failed to look at what was going on in the rest of the world between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago – and neither is the idea of catastrophism on their radar. At the same point in time climate in Europe changed dramatically as well. The savannah of central Europe was followed by the cold of the Late Glacial Maximum.

Skip to content