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17 September 2014
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Monsters We Met

Monsters We Met - Extinctions and evidence contents

About 100,000 years ago, humans first ventured out of Africa. The world they entered was the domain of giants: monstrous marsupials, huge eagles, savage short-faced bears and the terrifying 5.5-metre-long ripper lizard, Megalania.

These monsters now exist only in our imagination or as long-dead bones in a museum. In some areas of the world over, 70% of large mammals became extinct around the time that humans arrived on the continent. But why? Was it man's arrival or was it coincidence?

Monsters We Met - Man the hunter

Man the hunter

Did humans hunt the megafauna into extinction after only a few centuries?

Monsters We Met - In balance with nature?

In balance with nature?

Some experts think human hunting didn't eradicate giant animals.

Monsters We Met - Other causes

Other causes

What other theories have been proposed to account for long-vanished species?

Related links

Elsewhere on Prehistoric Life

65 million years of history, from woolly mammoths to birds that ate horses
Why learning to stand on two legs set us on the path to civilisation
A recent episode of Horizon
Links to BBC programmes about prehistoric life

Elsewhere on

All mammals evolved from a group of reptiles that lived more than 200 million years ago.
Listen again to this episode of the Radio 4 programme Frontiers.

Elsewhere on the web

Extensive articles on prehistoric mammals from online encyclopedia written by the public
The online encyclopedia written by the public
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