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Man did not hunt large animals in Brazil

Saber-toothed tiger: extinction believed to have been caused by climate change

Indiana State MuseumSaber-toothed tiger: extinction believed to have been caused by climate changeIndiana State Museum

Some extinct species of large animals, such as giant ground sloths and saber-toothed tigers, lived near the first inhabitants of Brazil for over a thousand years in the Southeast, especially in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, during the late Pleistocene epoch. Despite this long coexistence about 11,000 years ago, there is no reliable evidence that man systematically hunted these animals in Brazil or even in South America, unlike the situation in North America, where mammoths and mastodons were humans’ constant prey. This is the conclusion of a review study carried out by Brazilian researchers who analyzed the data and datings for 33 large animal fossils found in the country (Earth-Science Reviews, March 2013). “This indicates that the disappearance of large fauna in Brazil was probably not directly related to the arrival of humans, as some hypotheses for their extinction suggest,” says archaeologist Mark Hubbe, of Ohio State University, one of the authors of the study together with his brother, Alex Hubbe, who is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo (USP). The authors believe that the extinction of the animals must have been triggered by climate change.