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CNN:Oz megafauna extinctions tied to human-set fires



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"I think we have compelling circumstantial evidence that the Genyornis'
extinction date is applicable to the vast majority of Australian
megafauna," he said. The findings may also reopen debate about what
happened to America's big animals.

There are natural fires in Australia, and some plants are known to
depend on  fires for their reproductive cycles. But Miller's team said
the human-set fires  would have transcended that level. 

"One possibility is that burning practices of the earliest human
immigrants differed enough from that of the natural fire cycle to
disrupt ecosystems across the semi-arid zone," the researchers wrote.