Scientists are suspecting prehistoric humans for killing the largest elephant birds of Madagascar. They get that idea after the discovery of fossilized bones with telltale cut marks.
The fossils date back to about 10,000 years which shows that the largest birds hunted and butchered for food. The first settlers might reach on Madagascar Island about 2,500 to 4,000 years ago.
A scientist at Zoological Society London, Dr. James Hansford said, “This does push back the date of human arrival by 6,000 years, at least”.
Rather than wiping out the animals in a short time, humans seem to have lived alongside the birds for thousands of years, before they went extinct around 1,000 years ago.
He further added, “Humans seem to have coexisted with elephant birds and other now-extinct species for over 9,000 years, apparently with limited negative impact on biodiversity for most of this period, which offers new insights for conservation today”.
Once, these birds were common in Madagascar, with a weight of at least half a tonne. They were 3m tall and have giant eggs than those of the dinosaurs.
The elephant birds named as Aepyornis and Mullerornis. They also lived among giant lemurs, another one of the extinct species.
Prof Patricia Wright from Stony Brook University is a co-researcher of the discovery. She said, “We do not know the origin of these people and won’t until we find further archaeological evidence. The question remains – who these people were? And when and why did they disappear?”
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