Science

Climate Change During Ice Age Killed Many Animals

By Rodney Rafols , Jan 28, 2017 02:15 AM EST

Today, climate change is a crisis that is facing the world. Climate change in the past has been an issue as well. Climate change during the Ice Age has killed many animals.

The ice Age had seen many large animals. In a land that is now Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea there lived animals that were large versions of today's animals. The three regions then made up a land mass called Sahul.

Sahul had animals that were large, such as 500 pound kangaroos and tapirs as large as horses. Other large creatures in the place were large monitor lizards and flightless birds. The place had much biodiversity at a time when most of the world was in ice.

30,000 years ago though much of this biodiversity disappeared. Scientists speculate that a mass extinction event had caused this diverse animal life to vanish. Scientists though are still conflicted as to what had caused this event.

Some scientists believe that man might have caused this extinction. When humans had set foot on Sahul, many of the creatures there had been hunted by man, mainly for food. Some have suggested that the region slowly became dry as monsoon weakened there.

A study of fossils from the animals indicate that climate change may have been a factor. Fossils coming from 350,000 to 570,000 years ago were compared to those from 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. This was from the time many of the creatures were abundant to the time that decline started to come, according to Vanderbilt University's site.

The study has been made by Judith Field and John Dodson from the University of New South Wales. Also in the study is Stephen Wroe from the University of New England. Directing the study is Larisa DeSantis, an assistant professor of Earth and Environmental Studies from Vanderbilt University.

From the fossil evidence of teeth that were studied, the researchers have concluded that climate in Sahul then was semi-arid 500,000 years ago. Fossil teeth coming from 30,000 to 40,000 years ago though show that the climate then had changed. The fossils from that period has shown that the area had become much drier. The diet of the animals also had changed as it is more restricted, as Science Daily reports.

The study has concluded that due to climate change, many animals then began to die off as they tried to adapt to it. Climate change during the Ice Age has killed many animals. Today many threats face the world, such as epidemics that can happen any time.

 

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