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Human Biogeography$
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Alexander Harcourt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520272118

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520272118.001.0001

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We Affect Other Species' Biogeography

We Affect Other Species' Biogeography

Chapter:
(p.225) 10 We Affect Other Species' Biogeography
Source:
Human Biogeography
Author(s):

Alexander H. Harcourt

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520272118.003.0010

The spread of humans across the globe can be tracked by the burst of extinctions of large-bodied animals as we arrived in each region previously empty of us and our modern weapons. Debate exists about whether humans or climate change caused the extinctions, and if humans were the culprit, how we did it. Most current evidence indicates hunting as the cause, but in the case of Neanderthals, we might simply have outcompeted them for food. If we did not drive species to extinction, we often drove them to miniscule ranges on the edge of their previous distribution. Nevertheless, we have helped many species, such as our pathogens, parasites, and our domestic plants and animals, to hugely expand their range.

Keywords:   Americas, Australia, extinction, Madagascar, lemurs, mammoths, moas, Neanderthal

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