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Re: Genyornis: why not the bloody dingoes?



>Researchers have apparently attributed extinctions of Genyornis to humans
>burning their food vegetation and otherwise disrupting their niche.
>
>But why not predation by early aboriginals and, indeed, their dogs, the
>dingoes.

Without commenting on the fire idea, may I point out that it is not just
Genyornis whose extinction is sought to be explained here, but the
extinction of the entire Australian megafauna including giant monitors and
snakes, diprotodont marsupials etc.  Surely you are not suggesting that
dingoes wiped out the lot?  We are talking about animals with a wide range
of habitat choices and (presumably) reproductive strategies.

I might point out that a similar megafaunal extinction in Madagascar also
occurred at roughly the same time as human arrival, and that widespread
burning destroyed much of the Malagasy habitat.  Species lost included all
the giant lemurs, the elephant-birds, and a hippopotamus.
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@home.com