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MEGAFAUNA..



> H. sapiens has become the top predator elsehwere (due to migration), but
> there has been a continuing presence of hominines in Africa for a couple of
> million years.

It has been written that, as humans spread to new lands, meeting species not
adapted to the threat posed by humans, they eliminated megafaunal elements. The
disappearance of megafauna coincides with 'invasion time' of humans. Yet in
Africa, megafauna have remained because the animals there had evolved with an
ever-present human threat. Hence the more or less unique, surviving African
megafauna.

I have my doubts about this. Firstly, it might already have been proved that
many megafaunal elements were in trouble before humans began preying on them.
Secondly, many species supposedly wiped out by human invaders seem about as well
adapted to the danger as the African animals that survived. Consider the big
elephants, for example. 

To swing this around to dinosaurs, this rather mundane hypothesis (kind of
'survival of the fittest', with deadly, new species wiping away the old order)
is advanced with ingenious subtlety by Uncle Bob Bakker in his _Utahraptor_
rantings. Not that there isn't at least a small grain of truth there, of
course..;-).

"I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster"

DARREN NAISH