A study which has been published in the science journal Nature Communications has tried to find a link between human activity and the extinction of the Australia’s gigantic megafauna. Australia’s gigantic megafauna include some species which have a body weight more than 45 kilograms. Their extinction has been a very litigious issue and often research has been overridden by politics and ideology over scientific evidence.
A large portion of the Australian megafauna has gone extinct, and a group of researchers contends that humans and not climate change have a big role to play in the extinction of the megafauna.
Researchers pored over eggshell fragments from over 200 sites. Most of the remnants were found in small 10 feet diameter cluster across the wide expanse of the continent. Evidence points out that these patterns were the work of humans who discarded the shells in and around transient fires where these eggs were cooked.The gradients of the eggshells which were burned on one side reveal amino acid decomposition incompatible with the long-lasting and all-engulfing heat produced by wildfires.
A giant bird of the group which scientists have dubbed as Genyornis newtoni weighed some 500 pounds and stood seven feet tall. The bird is said to lay eggs weighing 3.5 pounds.
Professor Gifford Miller, who is the lead author and affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in a statement said that this is the first direct evidence that humans had preyed on now-extinct Australian megafauna. Miller added that these gradients in heat could not have possibly been caused by wildfires. Instead, they point towards early humans collecting Genyornis eggs, cooking them over fires, and then randomly throwing the eggshell fragments in and around their cooking fires