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(NPR)   Human beings hunting animals to extinction predates pollution, cities, written language, Abe Vigoda   ( npr.org) divider line
    More: Facepalm, shows Prehistoric men, big mammals, Pleistocene, large cave bear, Human, Megafauna, Mammal, North America  
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677 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Apr 2018 at 4:17 AM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-04-20 12:39:24 AM  
I'm good.  I've got one can of anchovies.
 
2018-04-20 04:29:32 AM  
Sure, but when did humanity first realize that we were driving a species to extinction as well as the potential costs to biomes, future discoveries, and science as a whole?  Does that knowledge incur an ethical responsibility on our part to be better stewards of our little, blue planet that we rely on for survival?
 
2018-04-20 05:10:45 AM  
Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.
 
2018-04-20 05:28:11 AM  
Simple evolution. Adapt or die.
 
2018-04-20 05:30:02 AM  
"Certainly humans exploit large game," she says, "probably because they are tasty"

Victim blaming
 
2018-04-20 05:37:45 AM  

Smoking GNU: Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.


We did the same thing to the Smurfs. Over hunting and virgin fields epidemic wiped them out.
 
2018-04-20 05:51:59 AM  

Smoking GNU: Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.


And another version of the same story posted on phys.org

The team also looked ahead to examine how potential mammal extinctions could affect the world's biodiversity. To do so, it posed a question: What would happen if the mammals currently listed as vulnerable or endangered were to go extinct within the next 200 years?

The answer?

In that scenario, Lyons said, the largest remaining mammal would be the domestic cow. The average body mass would plummet to less than six pounds - roughly the size of a Yorkshire terrier.
 
2018-04-20 06:38:23 AM  
Bullshiat.

Nothing predates Abe Vigoda.
 
2018-04-20 06:56:15 AM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: Smoking GNU: Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.

And another version of the same story posted on phys.org

The team also looked ahead to examine how potential mammal extinctions could affect the world's biodiversity. To do so, it posed a question: What would happen if the mammals currently listed as vulnerable or endangered were to go extinct within the next 200 years?

The answer?

In that scenario, Lyons said, the largest remaining mammal would be the domestic cow

your mom. The average body mass would plummet to less than six pounds - roughly the size of a Yorkshire terrier.

But seriously,we're going to kill off Clydesdale horses?
 
2018-04-20 07:27:33 AM  
Been saying this for years.

There is no species of fauna that Man has coexisted with on Earth that he hasn't been able to kill with nothing more complicated than a pointed stick.  In fact, it's our special talent as a species, killing things that are bigger, badder, and tougher than we are.
 
2018-04-20 07:32:55 AM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: Smoking GNU: Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.

And another version of the same story posted on phys.org

The team also looked ahead to examine how potential mammal extinctions could affect the world's biodiversity. To do so, it posed a question: What would happen if the mammals currently listed as vulnerable or endangered were to go extinct within the next 200 years?

The answer?

In that scenario, Lyons said, the largest remaining mammal would be the domestic cow. The average body mass would plummet to less than six pounds - roughly the size of a Yorkshire terrier.


Bull.  It would be the Humpback Whale, which is no longer endangered and is in fact a "least concern" species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpbac​k​_whale

But assuming they are talking *ONLY* about land mammals, then I could see that being possible.
 
2018-04-20 07:46:34 AM  
In addition to competing with large carnivores for game, humans developed a habit of eliminating animals which preyed on humans. Humans do not tolerate predation. Animals which prey on humans get hunted down and exterminated. As a survival mechanism, this could have been a cultural adaptation where groups of humans taught their children to eliminate large carnivores near them to minimize competition and predation.

Cave bears, for one example, were apex predators competing with humans for both game and living space. With loads of large prey available, there was little benefit to humans to hunt such dangerous carnivores. Humans nonetheless systematically destroyed every cave bear they could find. Most of the large felines and loads of canids (such as the Dire Wolf) were either exterminated or driven out and taught to fear humans by organized bands of human hunters working to eliminate competitors and predators of humans. Once humans started herding prey animals, this would have been expanded to eliminate animals which preyed upon human herds.

Lather, rinse, repeat as human populations expanded across the landscape, and we end up with major predators all threatened with extinction and most large prey animals in even worse shape due to habitat loss and fatal interactions with humans. Us killer plains apes haven't figured out how to achieve equilibrium with our habitat without beating it into submission.
 
2018-04-20 08:04:38 AM  

rummonkey: Bullshiat.

Nothing predates Abe Vigoda.


Thank you.
 
2018-04-20 08:12:49 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: rummonkey: Bullshiat.

Nothing predates Abe Vigoda.

Thank you.


What about man who's soul reincarnated in Abe?
 
2018-04-20 08:19:30 AM  

dittybopper: Bull.  It would be the Humpback Whale, which is no longer endangered and is in fact a "least concern" species.


That assumes, of course, that over the next 200 years, nothing changes with the humpback.  The impact we're having on the oceans, from acidification to plasticification (my own word I just made up), places every animal in the ocean at risk.
 
2018-04-20 08:28:13 AM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: dittybopper: Bull.  It would be the Humpback Whale, which is no longer endangered and is in fact a "least concern" species.

That assumes, of course, that over the next 200 years, nothing changes with the humpback.  The impact we're having on the oceans, from acidification to plasticification (my own word I just made up), places every animal in the ocean at risk.


DId you not read your own post?

The team also looked ahead to examine how potential mammal extinctions could affect the world's biodiversity. To do so, it posed a question: What would happen if the mammals currently listed as vulnerable or endangered were to go extinct within the next 200 years?
 
2018-04-20 08:54:00 AM  

Wenchmaster: In addition to competing with large carnivores for game, humans developed a habit of eliminating animals which preyed on humans. Humans do not tolerate predation. Animals which prey on humans get hunted down and exterminated. As a survival mechanism, this could have been a cultural adaptation where groups of humans taught their children to eliminate large carnivores near them to minimize competition and predation.

Cave bears, for one example, were apex predators competing with humans for both game and living space. With loads of large prey available, there was little benefit to humans to hunt such dangerous carnivores. Humans nonetheless systematically destroyed every cave bear they could find. Most of the large felines and loads of canids (such as the Dire Wolf) were either exterminated or driven out and taught to fear humans by organized bands of human hunters working to eliminate competitors and predators of humans. Once humans started herding prey animals, this would have been expanded to eliminate animals which preyed upon human herds.

Lather, rinse, repeat as human populations expanded across the landscape, and we end up with major predators all threatened with extinction and most large prey animals in even worse shape due to habitat loss and fatal interactions with humans. Us killer plains apes haven't figured out how to achieve equilibrium with our habitat without beating it into submission.


What would "equilibrium" even look like?
 
2018-04-20 09:43:15 AM  

FLMountainMan: What would "equilibrium" even look like?

Whatever a mass extinction isn't.

Mass extinctions do happen, but they are events.
 
2018-04-20 09:55:21 AM  

FLMountainMan: Wenchmaster: In addition to competing with large carnivores for game, humans developed a habit of eliminating animals which preyed on humans. Humans do not tolerate predation. Animals which prey on humans get hunted down and exterminated. As a survival mechanism, this could have been a cultural adaptation where groups of humans taught their children to eliminate large carnivores near them to minimize competition and predation.

Cave bears, for one example, were apex predators competing with humans for both game and living space. With loads of large prey available, there was little benefit to humans to hunt such dangerous carnivores. Humans nonetheless systematically destroyed every cave bear they could find. Most of the large felines and loads of canids (such as the Dire Wolf) were either exterminated or driven out and taught to fear humans by organized bands of human hunters working to eliminate competitors and predators of humans. Once humans started herding prey animals, this would have been expanded to eliminate animals which preyed upon human herds.

Lather, rinse, repeat as human populations expanded across the landscape, and we end up with major predators all threatened with extinction and most large prey animals in even worse shape due to habitat loss and fatal interactions with humans. Us killer plains apes haven't figured out how to achieve equilibrium with our habitat without beating it into submission.

What would "equilibrium" even look like?


Actually, we can and have achieved equilibrium.  For example, in Africa where we originally evolved, there were few species that died off when we emerged as modern humans because the predators and prey had evolved with us, and until the widespread introduction of things like modern medicine and hygiene that allowed the African human population to explode in the last 60 or 70 years, there was a relative balance there.

Similarly, in North America, after the original die-off of megafauna caused by humans, there was a relative equilibrium achieved where the megafauna that survived did so because they were either fast (pronghorn, whitetails, etc.) or extremely numerous (bison, passenger pigeons), very wary and hard to hunt (wild turkeys, mountain lions), or dangerous and best avoided (grizzly bears, polar bears).  Or a combination:  Black bears can be dangerous, especially if wounded, but they're also relatively intelligence, curious, and highly adaptable because of their human-like omnivorous diet.

That equilibrium lasted until Europeans brought newer technologies.  For all the "noble savage" crap (and it is unmitigated crap), the Native Americans eagerly embraced the new technologies like firearms that made them just as efficient as European hunters, and that allowed them to engage in market hunting, whereas before they were almost entirely subsistence hunters.

When they started using guns (along with their European cousins), there started another extinction and near-extinction event.

In fact, you can see that in some geographical areas based upon gun design.  In Appalachia, gun design in over-all form was relatively static from the late 18th Century to the beginning of the 20th Century in terms of function:  Basically, aside from the transition from flintlocks to percussion locks, the guns were simple single-shot muzzleloading rifles, mostly iron mounted and rather plain.  They're generally called "Southern Mountain Rifles" or "Poor Boy Rifles" these days, to distinguish them as a sub-type of the classic American Long Rifle.  There is one gradual difference, though:  The earlier guns had fairly large bores, something like .50 caliber or bigger, and the later guns were of small cailber, between .32 and .40 caliber.  That's because by the mid-19th century, almost all of the big game like deer and bear had been hunted out, leaving just small game like rabbits and squirrels.  Biggest thing they'd have to shoot is a domestic pig, and maybe a cow, and neither runs very far when shot.

But I digress.

You see pre-modern technological human populations reaching an equilibrium on every continent after they've killed off all of the easy-to-kill species.  And in fact, that's kind of why they died first:  They were easier to kill, so it's more efficient from a survival standpoint to hunt them.  Least amount of effort.
 
2018-04-20 10:44:16 AM  

Summoner101: Sure, but when did humanity first realize that we were driving a species to extinction as well as the potential costs to biomes, future discoveries, and science as a whole?  Does that knowledge incur an ethical responsibility on our part to be better stewards of our little, blue planet that we rely on for survival?


This implies we'd actually make some lasting impact to the planet. We may yet manage to fark things up to the point that we make things unsustainable or even uninhabitable to ourselves, but we'll merely die off and probably take a bunch of shiat with us. Planet won't give a shiat and new life will spring up in our collective places. To quote a grumpy old bastard, the Planet is fine; the People are farked.
 
2018-04-20 10:53:32 AM  
It's kind of neat how muscles and teeth were the tools of choice in the race to be the top apex predators for millions of years. And then suddenly some apes with big brains came along and started lapping everyone else.
 
2018-04-20 11:02:21 AM  

fluffy_pope: Smoking GNU: Old news. I've seen studies stating, to name one specific instance, the arrival of man in North  america directly caused (due to over-hunting) the extinction of at least 20 herbivore species, including one species of Giant Sloth at least a decade ago.

We did the same thing to the Smurfs.
Can we now wipe out Little ponies?

 
2018-04-20 11:46:13 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: Summoner101: Sure, but when did humanity first realize that we were driving a species to extinction as well as the potential costs to biomes, future discoveries, and science as a whole?  Does that knowledge incur an ethical responsibility on our part to be better stewards of our little, blue planet that we rely on for survival?

This implies we'd actually make some lasting impact to the planet. We may yet manage to fark things up to the point that we make things unsustainable or even uninhabitable to ourselves, but we'll merely die off and probably take a bunch of shiat with us. Planet won't give a shiat and new life will spring up in our collective places. To quote a grumpy old bastard, the Planet is fine; the People are farked.


The whole point of life is to persist DNA.  All life is actually redundant expressions of DNA.  All species have 90% the same DNA.

/ DNA!
 
2018-04-20 11:50:33 AM  

LewDux: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: rummonkey: Bullshiat.

Nothing predates Abe Vigoda.

Thank you.

What about man who's soul reincarnated in Abe?


No such thing. Abe has been around since the first stars were only burning hydrogen, making helium and all the other elements that our universe now consists of.
 
2018-04-20 12:08:56 PM  

Shazam999: KingBiefWhistle: Summoner101: Sure, but when did humanity first realize that we were driving a species to extinction as well as the potential costs to biomes, future discoveries, and science as a whole?  Does that knowledge incur an ethical responsibility on our part to be better stewards of our little, blue planet that we rely on for survival?

This implies we'd actually make some lasting impact to the planet. We may yet manage to fark things up to the point that we make things unsustainable or even uninhabitable to ourselves, but we'll merely die off and probably take a bunch of shiat with us. Planet won't give a shiat and new life will spring up in our collective places. To quote a grumpy old bastard, the Planet is fine; the People are farked.

The whole point of life is to persist DNA.  All life is actually redundant expressions of DNA.  All species have 90% the same DNA.

/ DNA!


Ask DNA?
Ask DNA
Youtube zs3pYBQhtkM
 
2018-04-20 01:36:40 PM  

dittybopper: Actually, we can and have achieved equilibrium.  For example, in Africa where we originally evolved, there were few species that died off when we emerged as modern humans because the predators and prey had evolved with us, and until the widespread introduction of things like modern medicine and hygiene that allowed the African human population to explode in the last 60 or 70 years, there was a relative balance there.

Similarly, in North America, after the original die-off of megafauna caused by hum ...


I disagree with your balance assertion (look at the populations of cheetahs for example, DNA research shows repeated die-offs and renewals).  But it may just be a timing perspective - how long of a view must you take to see things as balanced.  And defining "balance" of course.

But if you accept, it sets up an interesting framework that somewhat reinforces my original point.  In your examples, the mass extinction caused by humans was the act that balanced things out.  Essentially, we had to kill off everything large in order for there to be balance.

It's truly frightening.  Technology is antithetical to any sort of utopian equilibrium.  Technology both enables us to kill everything off and enables us to reproduce and, maybe even more importantly, extend our lives enough, so we just keep growing in numbers.

Its too bad Ted Kaczynski was a murderer because his warnings about technology are pretty prescient.
 
2018-04-20 02:35:39 PM  
To hunt a species to extinction is not logical.
 
2018-04-20 04:12:06 PM  

cyberspacedout: To hunt a species to extinction is not logical.


But it is delicious.
 
2018-04-20 04:35:54 PM  

FLMountainMan: dittybopper: Actually, we can and have achieved equilibrium.  For example, in Africa where we originally evolved, there were few species that died off when we emerged as modern humans because the predators and prey had evolved with us, and until the widespread introduction of things like modern medicine and hygiene that allowed the African human population to explode in the last 60 or 70 years, there was a relative balance there.

Similarly, in North America, after the original die-off of megafauna caused by hum ...

I disagree with your balance assertion (look at the populations of cheetahs for example, DNA research shows repeated die-offs and renewals).  But it may just be a timing perspective - how long of a view must you take to see things as balanced.  And defining "balance" of course.

But if you accept, it sets up an interesting framework that somewhat reinforces my original point.  In your examples, the mass extinction caused by humans was the act that balanced things out.  Essentially, we had to kill off everything large in order for there to be balance.

It's truly frightening.  Technology is antithetical to any sort of utopian equilibrium.  Technology both enables us to kill everything off and enables us to reproduce and, maybe even more importantly, extend our lives enough, so we just keep growing in numbers.

Its too bad Ted Kaczynski was a murderer because his warnings about technology are pretty prescient.


And it only gets worse over time. Never before have we found a way to obsolete so much human labor with no ability to replace the old type of labor with new types. Compound that with all the problems of overpopulation, and it nearly makes you beg for a super villian to help get the population at least a bit in check.

Star Trek style futures of post scarcity can only happen within reasonable sized well controlled populations. This is why Star Trek happened after World War 3... As I recall it started after water rights issues from ever growing poverty striken populace. Even Marx predicted technology causing issues. It's a common theme.

\Starting to worry myself about how any of this could end differently than massive amounts of death
 
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