Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Neanderthals Couldn't Take the Competition
Neanderthals: Done in by Competition, Not Climate
Emily Sohn, Discovery News
Jan. 8, 2009 -- Climate change has become the default scapegoat for nearly every extinction on Earth lately. But a new study lets climate off the hook for at least one dramatic event: The disappearance of the Neanderthals from Europe about 35,000 years ago.
Scientists have long debated what caused the demise of this human-like species. One camp argues that the Neanderthals fell victim to a dramatic cooling of the environment. The other view holds that prehistoric humans squeezed the Neanderthals out.
"There have been dozens and dozens of articles on one side or the other," said William Banks, an archaeologist at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Bordeaux. Banks led the new study, which suggests that Cro-Magnon populations simply outcompeted Neanderthals during a period of rapid climate change.
The study borrowed a tool from biodiversity research. Called "ecological niche modeling," the technique begins with a look at where a particular species lives. From each region, scientists compile details about geography, climate, and other environmental conditions.
Then, a computer model predicts where else that same suite of conditions exists. The results indicate the species' geographical range and also suggest how that range might expand or contract with environmental changes.
Banks and colleagues applied a version of this technique to ancient human species. They used a database to gather information from about 1,300 archaeological sites around Europe, dating back to three time periods: before, during, and after a massive cooling event about 40,000 years ago.
During that period, called Heinrich Event 4, Europe succumbed to cold, dry weather. Icebergs descended from the Arctic all the way down to Spain. Soon after, nearly all evidence of Neanderthals disappeared from the archaeological record.
Because the Neanderthals petered out around the same time that climate changed, some researchers have concluded that harsh weather was responsible for their demise. However, the species had survived through a number of earlier cold snaps, Banks pointed out, suggesting that cold wasn't what killed them after all.
"It is clear from this paper that the ecology that supported a big population of Neanderthals 40,000 years ago would have supported a big population of Neanderthals 30,000 years ago," said John Hawkes, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsinâ€”Madison. "This is not an issue of climate."
Instead, the new data show that, when weather grew wetter and milder again after Heinrich Event 4, Cro-Magnon populations were able to expand into many areas that Neanderthals previously had all to themselves.
And, it appears, the Cro-Magnon people were better at exploiting the region's resources than Neanderthals were, probably because these anatomically modern humans had more refined technologies and social networks, Banks speculated.
Debate is sure to continue, said anthropologist Henry Harpending of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, because that's what scientists do. But in his mind, the new study paints a clearer-than-ever picture of what happened in Europe tens of thousands of years ago.
"I don't foresee it being a lively issue for very long," he told Discovery News. "In my mind, this puts it to rest."
I do not think that competition from their southern cousins was the only thing that did Neanderthals in. Some studies suggested that in Neanderthal family groups, both men and women hunted big game; just about the only food that Neanderthals ate. When anatomically modern Homo sapiens sp. came from the south, I think there were probably three reasons that the Neanderthals went extinct.
As I mentioned before, Neanderthals were almost completely dependent on big game. Despite having bigger brains than us, they did not farm (then again, we didn't at this point either), gather, or hunt for smaller fare. However, modern humans gathered nut and fruit and ate small animals in addition to the big ones. If an area's megafauna "dried up", they could survive on small game indefinitely or at least until the animals returned. Neanderthals had to migrate or die.
2. Food Sources
Neanderthals would not have suffered much from a change in climate. Through earlier warm-cold shifts in the Pleistocene, they switched from mammoth to straight-tusked elephant and back again several times. However, Neanderthals almost exclusively preyed on big game animals, mammoths, cave bears (who were herbivores, not carnivores), aurochs, megaloceros, wisent, etc. But as humans with new hunting techniques came through, they may have massacred the animals in Europe, who had some idea of humans but not enough to save them from the more pursuit-based rather than ambush-based tactics of Homo sapiens. This may also be why the Eurasian fauna survived a bit longer than the megafauna in Australia and the Americas, but still went extinct.
Not all hominids are not known for being kind to one another. Chimpanzees kill and eat one another in the wild, there is some evidence of combat between hominids, and let us not forget genocide, ethnocide, and religious violence in humans. Humans in particular seem to hate things that are new and different to them. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to see Homo sapiens once in a while methodically wipe out a Neanderthal tribe to gain access to their lands. And they wouldn't even have to go that far; hunting big game is a dangerous task, putting a few members on the sidelines could be fatal.
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