Your success made your numbers grow.

With flint-headed weapons, your strong hunters could bring down any animal, no matter how big. Your women and elders protected your young, tending fire pits for cooking. You used fire to open up the landscape too, making it easier to track big prey. 

You followed the herds. Where they rested, your shamans painted mystical scenes deep in caves, idolising their energy and power. 

But your hunting prowess made their numbers dwindle. As food grew scarce you set out to find new lands. Your people gradually moved out of Africa, hunting the creatures they found on the way. These animals had not evolved with humans. Some found it impossible to adapt to altered ecosystems, others were already stressed by a changing climate. 

When your tribes crossed to Australia fifty thousand years ago, fifteen of the sixteen large mammal species on the island were wiped out. 

Just over ten thousand years ago, your descendents arrived in North America, driving fifteen large mammal species to extinction within one-and-a-half thousand years. 

As humanity expanded to fill every continent on the planet, the impact of your tribes combined with a warming climate to wipe out the majority of creatures heavier than forty five kilogrammes.  

Pleistocene Extinctions

Alex Harvie

© Copyright 2024 Gregor Harvie - All Rights Reserved