News of the WeekPALEOECOLOGY

Mass Extinctions Pinned on Ice Age Hunters

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Science  08 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5523, pp. 1819
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5523.1819

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Incriminating new evidence from Australia and North America points to Homo sapiens as the culprit behind the mass extinctions of many species of big, exotic mammals and flightless birds in the late Pleistocene era, 11,000 to 50,000 years ago. If findings reported on pages 1888 and 1893 of this issue of Science are confirmed, humans are guilty of two counts of serial mass murder, 35,000 years apart, and rival suspects such as climate change are off the hook.