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Faysal Bibi of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and Juan L. Cantalapiedra of the University of Alcalá published research that revealed essential details on the evolution of big African animals. They discovered that the African Megafauna population is declining. Explore more about the decline in the African megafauna population in this article.
The measurements came from thousands of fossilized teeth. They have also rebuilt the size and population statistics of these mammals over the last ten million years. The undertaking was very challenging, especially given the multiple uncertainties associated with fossil preservation.
The biological “rule of metabolic scaling” states that bigger species have lower population densities relative to smaller ones. The researchers discovered evidence of this trend in the animals having more weight than 45 kg. The fact that animals weighing between 15 kg and 45 kg were far less prevalent than anticipated in both current and ancient groups represented a divergence from the expected ecological trend.
A ground-breaking new study sheds insight into the ecological factors behind the extinction of these iconic beasts by focusing on the size and abundance of big current and fossil African mammals. The results cast doubt on earlier theories about the causes of megafaunal extinctions in Africa and offer fresh perspectives on how ecosystems have changed over millions of years. The study questions if the decline in the African Megafauna population is the primary driver of human activity. During the late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, humans migrated over the world. This time period corresponded with the extinction of several great species. According to the study, megafaunal reductions in Africa began far earlier, long before humans learned to hunt efficiently.
Tropical grasslands stretched throughout time, temperatures fell, and plant production plummeted. The researchers matched the fossil tooth morphologies to plant output, which fell by two-thirds around 5 million years ago worldwide. As plant productivity declined, so did sustenance resources at all levels of the food chain. Bibi and Cantalapiedra believe their findings will aid in better forecasting biodiversity loss as surroundings change, as well as informing discussion efforts and future studies on ecosystem reorganisation. The researchers also looked at meteorological and environmental trends. After that, they have come to the conclusion that the climate is a far more likely culprit than people. The replacement of huge shrubs and trees with grasslands appears to be the result of climate change.
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