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Humans were present in Madagascar as far back as 10,000 years ago

Analysis of fossils of elephant birds, the once largest bird species, revealed cut marks and depression fractures consistent with hunting and butchery by prehistoric humans. Using radiocarbon dating techniques, we can now determine when these giant birds had been killed, reassessing when humans first reached Madagascar.


A team of scientists led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) have collected evidence of human activity in Madagascar more than 6,000 years earlier than earlier thought which reveals that a totally altered extinction theory is vital to understand the vast biodiversity loss that has transpired on the island.


Humans appear to have cohabited with elephant birds and other now-extinct species for over 9,000 years, seemingly with limited negative impact on biodiversity for most of this period, which offers new insights for conservation in today’s world.