Most, if not all of the Americas megafauna does not become extinct at the start of the Holocene

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by evilmonkey239, Jan 11, 2019 at 7:41 AM.

  1. evilmonkey239 New Member

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    This isn’t the first time someone on this website has started an Alternate History thread where the large mammals of the Americas that went extinct around 10,000 do not, but it looks like it’s been several years and the topic interests me, so I thought I’d start a new one!
     
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  2. evilmonkey239 New Member

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    So this is the scenario I thought up:

    It’s largely believed that the biggest contributor to the demise of all the new world’s elephants and horses as well as the majority of its big cats, the camelids and tapirs of North America, all Xenarthrans larger than a giant anteater, and many other fascinating mammals (mixed in with a few big birds and reptiles)- was climate change. However, these great beasts had survived many drastic climate changes prior, so it’s not unreasonable to believe that if we humans arrived just a thousand years later than we did, their depleted populations could’ve recovered, and we would not have been able to push them over the edge.
     
  3. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

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    This is basically a scenario asking what the world would be like if the Paleo-Indians had never crosses into the New World (well... there may be some evidence that there was some human habitation of the Americas before the Paleo-Indians had migrated here, but let us put that aside for now). In any event, I suspect that much of the megafauna would still be driven to extinction whenever people finally did come to the New World in larger numbers, be they European, Polynesian, Chinese, African, or anyone else.
     
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  4. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    Megafauna survived in Africa and Asia despite human interaction. I don't buy the extinction through over hunting theory. Human interaction may have been a minor factor. However, the animals adapted to northern savannas and forests, may have been unable to adapt to changing climate, food resources and possibly disease. The narrow land bridge between the Americas inhibited possible spread of populations to more favorable regions.

    I think the possibility of several smaller mammals, camelids, horses, peccaries, musk ox, surviving is quite possible. However, once human populations reached a threshold, say about 12-1400 CE, you begin providing greater hunting stress on populations. The Great Plains provided a refuge for species until natives began using horses.
     
  5. evilmonkey239 New Member

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    How do we know they would tame horses? Sub-Saharan Africa is relatively full of large mammals, yet none were ever tamed there. True, people such as Massai herders have long raised stuff like sheep and cattle, but their wild ancestors lived thousands miles away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 2:30 PM
  6. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    We don't know horses would be tamed. But, they would be available.
     
  7. A Most Sovereign Lady Princess of the Kingdom of Maryland

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    Then saber tooth tiger attack becomes a statistical cause of death, which admittedly kinda sounds neat (albeit not for the eaten).
     
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  8. evilmonkey239 New Member

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    Let’s say that the bulk of the big mammals hold on a hundred centuries longer than they did in our universe. They survived the first group of apes to walk into the new world, but then some others arrive, this time across the Atlantic from Europe.

    Personally, I’d guess that if many weren’t tragically hunted to extinction, they would still face massive population declines. Mammoths and mastodons would be under siege for their ivory, and even if federal protections stepped in at the last minute, it would take them a very long time to recover. Large predators like sabertooths, American lions, dire wolves, and short-faced bears would be persecuted to protect people and livestock, not to mention hunted for sport. Since in our timeline we almost killed off all the bison in order to kill off the native people of the plains, perhaps these alternate universe ones would attempt to inflict genocide on not only them but also camels, tapirs, ground sloths, musk oxen, and the list goes on.
     
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