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Evolutionary Synthesis Biology Late Pleistocene Extinctions Overkill or Climate Change Abstract During the late Pleistocene era which lasted from about 18000 to 10000 years ago North America was filled with giant mammals These mammals were known as the Pleistocene mega-fauna At about 10000 years ago almost all of these huge animals disappear Why There are two main hypotheses on this phenomenon The first one is the Pleistocene Overkill hypothesis This states that the human beings that inhabited North America at the time hunted and killed off all of the great mammals The second hypothesis is the Climate Change hypothesis This states that the animals died off due to a drastic change in climate when the glaciers from the ice age melted Evidence is strong for both of these hypotheses Which one is correct Further studies must be done to find out for sure but one can make hisher decision based on the facts that are known Introduction Between 18000 and 10000 years ago at the height of the last ice age in North America the land that was not covered in ice looked like a giant park with many mixed trees and grasses During this time giant mammals roamed the North American continent There were woolly mammoths being killed by massive lions and sabertooth cats The bison were nearly as large as elephants Beavers were almost as big as bears while the short faced bear stood approximately five feet tall at the shoulder almost twice the size of the modern grizzly bear There were also other animals such as camels llamas horses cheetahs and sloths present during this time period Because of their size these large animals garnered their name mega-fauna Along with all of these huge mammals there is also the presence of another significant species man At this time the Paleo-Indians are roaming the North American Continent too These peoples are using beautiful fluted points to hunt the bison
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