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Troublesome Questions In 1830 Mr Rankin tied a rope around a projection out of a rock face in order to lower himself into Wellington Cave Horton 1980 The projection turned out to be the bone of a giant extinct marsupial It was to be the first discovery of a great range of giant marsupials Were these animals extinct Horton 1980 describes how Leichhart believed that on his journeys to northern Australia he would find Diprotodon still roaming over the land We now know that he was probably only about 20000 years to late Flood 1995 In general all the animals greater than 40 kg in body weight became extinct at the end of the last Ice Age By the mid 19th century scientists had already begun to postulate about the disappearance of these animals and today it remains one of the most controversial subjects presented to man Horton 1980 Australia was not the only country to experience extinctions of large animals Martin 1984 At the end of the last glacial period nearly every continent experienced extinctions of large animals Animals like the Mammoth giant ground sloths and mastodons were roaming the Americas Northern Eurasia featured woolly mammoths giant deer hippopotamus and straight tusked elephants Of all the continents it could be argued that Australia lost some of the most distinctly unique fauna in the world The popular opinion for the cause of extinction is the blitzkrieg hypothesis which is held by such researches as Paul Martin in his controversial article Prehistoric Overkill The Global Model This states that humans are directly responsible for these extinctions world wide The Problem with this model for Australia is that humans may have arrived on this continent well before the extinctions took place Flood 1995 On other continents the extinctions coincided almost exactly with the arrival of man Martin 1984 European man was not the first member of the genus Homo to set foot on the Australian continent There
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