Some of our close relatives, homo sapiens, have been walking on this Earth ever since chi Homo evolved over 2 million years ago. These hominins live in diverse and challenging habitats. Some have even crossed paths and crossbreeds.
Although many people may have reached important technological and cognitive milestones, such as controlling fire, developing stone tools or making clothing, today it’s just us, H. sapiens, exist.
Scholars have debated a lot about our present monopoly. Some have suggested that H. sapiens‘Better technology capabilities might have given us an edge over the rest. Others suggest that we may have eaten a more varied diet or were more efficient runners than other hominins.
Meanwhile, other researchers suggest that, given the high levels of inter-species mating, perhaps some hominins are not as extinct as much as by fully fusing with our genetic capital.
Researchers have also hypothesized that climate change could play a role in the extinction of Homo species. In a new study, published in the journal One EarthThis factor is the main cause of the extinction of other hominins, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Italy, the UK and Brazil.
The authors believe these findings could serve as a warning as humanity is facing today̵7;s man-made climate change.
“Even the brain power plant in the animal kingdom,[[the[[theHomo paleontologist Pasquale Raia, of the University of Naples Federico II, one of the authors of the study, said: “Everyone should remember, given the current state of disarray we are causing.
For this study, the team focused on only six of these Homo species: H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensisand H. sapiens. They ignored the others because the available fossil record was too limited for their analysis.
Using a fossil database that includes 2,754 archaeological records, researchers mapped where these species lived over time – linking both fossil evidence and tools related to each. with different locations and time periods.
They also apply a statistical modeling technique called past climate emulators, which uses existing records to recreate climatic conditions, including temperature and precipitation, for 5 million years.
Anthropologist Giorgio Manzi said: “This gives a picture of the huge impacts climate impacts have on.
For three of the five extinct species – H. erectus, H. heidelbergensisand H. neanderthalensis – A sudden, drastic climate change happened on the planet just before the species died out. The climate gets colder for all three, drier for H. heildelbergensis and Neanderthals, and wetter for H. erectus. According to Raia, the change in temperature is about 4 to 5 degrees Celsius, on average annually.
The researchers further evaluated the extinction of these species by trying to determine their tolerance to climate change over time, using their presence in multiple locations. differences as a clue to their niche market.
The team determined that, before disappearing, H. erectus and H. heidelbergensis lose more than half of the niche due to climate change. The Neanderthals lost about a quarter. Food resources can be depleted due to changing habitats and cold can threaten the survival of warmer-adapted species.
This climatic explanation does not necessarily mean that the other causes of extinction also matter – the authors note that competition with H. sapiensit could have made things worse for the Neanderthals, for example – but Raia and his colleagues believe their analysis revealed the “key factor” of the past. Homo extinction.
Archaeologist Tyler Faith, from the University of Utah who was not involved in the study, said the Neanderthal extinction had been studied – and debated – quite a bit, but the loss of other hominins was little attention. This new study represents the first attempt to understand how much Homo Species died in a space and time, he said.
“But I think it’s a little too early to reduce other potential extinction mechanisms,” added Faith. He notes that the limited fossil record for some species makes it difficult to have a complete picture of other environmental or climatic conditions. Homo the species can be handled.
Similarly, anthropologist Giorgio Manzi, from Sapienza University of Rome, who was not a contributor to the study, noted that many factors need to be considered to explain past disappearances. Homo species.
The nexus between climate change and extinction is complex, he said, and does not always lead to the other: “Various sudden climatic and environmental crises are known. for at least a million years. These circumstances have not always led to extinction. “
However, Manzi believes that the new work presents a plausible case that climate change can have a big impact.
“This gives a picture of the enormous impacts that climate impacts on human populations of different species,” Manzi said.
With the forecast for the planet to be 5 degrees C warmer than pre-industrial levels by 2100, many climate challenges are ahead.
This work was first appeared on SAPIENS under the CC BY-ND 4.0 license. Read the original here.