Twilight Of The Mammoth Summary

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SUMMARY & CRITIQUE ‘Twilight of the Mammoth’ by Paul Martin In the feature article “Twilight of the Mammoths”, the author, Paul martin, explains his opinions about the triggers of extinctions. Martin states that there are many causes to extinction, among such are climate change, meteor strikes, and diseases. The one cause that had made most sense to Martin, was what Richard Klein calls the ‘ecological shock of human arrival’, which means that as humans spread, many mammals of various sizes were wiped out. The term “overkill” is a central part of this article, which is constructed on the theory that human population were the cause of excessive predation. As humans entered the picture, predation has rose. The author suggests this is because…show more content…
Though Martins views shows considerable amount of information on human involvement in extinctions, he was unable to demonstrate any solid facts that supported his theories. His main evidence was the patterns found through Willard Libby’s radiocarbon dating, the evidence displaying patterns of large mammals going extinct shortly after the arrival of humans. Martin mentions these patterns are not correlating with anything other than the arrival of humans. However, correlation does not mean it is the cause of something. It is unfair to say humans were the cause of extinctions only because they were correlated with the extinctions of many animals. Martin does not provide any evidence showing that humans were the actual cause of these extinctions. In the article it states that some “some archeologist are baffled that humans can be held responsible for extinctions of large mammals, only 13000 years ago, with no substantial proof of even a single kill site” (Martin, 52) The article also states that there are no evidence for human hunting 50,000 years ago. This raises the question of if over hunting was the cause of extinction or if there were other factors

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