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back to article GIANT KANGAROOS wiped out by humans, not climate change

In a land before time – or at least Australia about 40,000 years ago – five meter kangaroos bounded across the landscape. Some were fleeing colossal marsupial lions. Others were trying to stay out of the way of Emus twice the size of today's specimens or Diprotodon Optatum, a rhinoceros-like beastie that was the largest …

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Pint

Big, dumb and tasty

now that's good eating!

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Re: Big, dumb and tasty

Yes but glad I never bumped into one in the dark.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big, dumb and tasty

Is that a reference to an Australian or a kangaroo?

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Facepalm

Not a new theory...

Tim Flannery has been saying this for three, maybe four decades now.

It isn't politically correct to say that Austfailia's original 'custodians' wiped out more species and destroyed far more ecosystems (through the dubious practice of, um.... burning down all the trees*) than us white-bread newcomers have in the past 200 years.

Austfailia - failing since 50,000BC - continuing the proud tradition into the 20th century**.

* - the native fire-clearing served only to retain species that are fire-resistant. Before native fire-clearing Australia looked more like the Daintree across the tropics, and Wollombi across the termperate zone. The deserts are only a new thing in the past 50,000 years or so - suspiciously coinciding with the spread of the plague of homo sapiens currently infesting the planet.

** - we're a bit behind down 'ere, maaaaaayte.

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Re: Not a new theory...

Yeah, how much you want to bet this will get brushed under the carpet just like all the other studies that show that humans are humans and do dickish things to the environment and each other regardless of skin colour...

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Re: Not a new theory...

Definitely not a new theory. I actually thought it was commonly considered to be the most likely scenario. Sure, there hasn't been much direct evidence, but we think we know when humans arrived in Australia and we know that the mass extinction of Australia's large animal life happened at this time.Correlation may not BE causation, but in this case it's a pretty big red flag.

It's not politically correct to say that the early Australian aboriginals ate every big land-animal they could catch to extinction? I always thought it was pretty obvious.

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Re: Re: Not a new theory...

The environment was dickish to us first.

Just look around Oz, everything wants to kill you, so why not kill it first with fire.

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FAIL

Re: Not a new theory...

No, Tim says it was the fires that humans started that wiped out the megafauna, whereas this research suggests it was wiping out the megafauna which allowed "natural" fires to spread. This may be an academic point, but it is actually the whole point of the paper that the reduction in animals led to more grass first and then the fires as opposed to the fires which led to less grass and then a reduction in the animals.

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Angel

Same goes for dinosaurs

Guess why there are no large dinosaurs left? Sure, some died out from environmental causes, but many became extinct because humans didn't like it when they came visiting.

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Re: Same goes for dinosaurs

So there were guys throwing pointy sticks at T.Rex...?

And presumably Raquel Welch was just like standing there watchiing as usual?

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Re: Same goes for dinosaurs

Clearly there are no large dinosaurs left because they were coated in crispy breadcrumbs. This was not an evolutionary advantage - everything likes crispy breadcrumbs.

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Re: Same goes for dinosaurs

I took a Creation Science module at school and I can assure you there are still large dinosaurs around. They are just really good at hiding behind hills.

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Joke

Re: Same goes for dinosaurs

Yeah, I thought we all knew that the dinosaurs were wiped out by time travelling cowboys and ranchers feeding the burgeoning population of the 23rd century.

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Coat

Re: Same goes for dinosaurs

@nomnomnom

"They are just really good at hiding behind hills."

ITYM "the furniture". Right Bob?

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Fits the global picture

There's a very consistent pattern across the world - humans arrive, megafauna disappears. The Americas 15,000 years ago - giant sloths and sabre-tooths; all gone within a couple of millennia. While the Battle of Hastings was being fought, 12 foot moas were roaming the Kauri forests of NZ. Humans arrive shortly thereafter; and within a couple of centuries the moas are all gone.

Meanwhile, in Africa where the megafauna coevolved to keep out of the way of the chimps with spears, they survived until the gun was invented.

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Anonymous Coward

Kanga poo

Why have people in the media started using that word when there are so many others available. It should only ever be uttered by someone under five years of age and even then only if they're from a very twee family.

I'd have excused it in this case if the Reg sub had used it as creatively as I have.

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Happy

Re: Kanga poo

What's wrong with "Kanga"?

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Re: Kanga poo

no he's talking poo

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Coat

Cool story

It means we should be able to get rid of dingos, right? ...Right?

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Ru
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Re: Cool story

Nah, they don't provide very good eating.

I'm sure there'll be no problem associated with eradicating other stupid species that actually taste okay... rabbits, for example.

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Re: Cool story

Won't the dingos die from eating cane toads?

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Alert

Re: Cool story

"Won't the dingos die from eating cane toads?"

No, they'll become venomous dingoes!

//you clearly don't understand how Australia works....

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Clone them!

I for one would pay to ride on a five meter kangaroo!

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Joke

Re: Clone them!

I suppose it takes all kinds to make up a world <sigh>

Most people would be happy just to roll up at the local whorehouse.

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Definitely nothing new

there does seem to be a human frailty that distorts science - 'Not our fault'.

People are still desperately trying to find a meteor or meteorites that wiped out the megafauna in the americas. Despite the fact there are bones with spear points buried in them.

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Re: Definitely nothing new

maybe we stabbed the bodies after the meteor killed them?

come on stop undermining our defence case. if jesus comes back and finds we killed all the animals he's going to be furious

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Pint

After mammoths, I want marsupial rhinos to be cloned next

Followed by marsupial lions.

Now where's the "WANT" icon ?

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Pint

The Diprotodon...

... is most often described as something like a grumpy-looking Wombat the size of a Humvee.

I think that would be great!

Also can we bring back the Thylacine?

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