How ice age animals got extinct
Archaeologists have found new evidence that an extraterrestrial body crashed to Earth almost 13,000 years ago that caused the extinction of many large animals. This crash also led to human population decline.
The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis proposes that an asteroid or comet hit the Earth about 12,800 years ago, causing a period of extreme cooling that contributed to extinctions of more than 35 species of megafauna including giant sloths, sabre-tooth cats, mastodons and mammoths.
It also coincides with a serious decline in early human populations such as the Clovis culture and is believed to have caused massive wildfires that could have blocked sunlight, causing an ‘impact winter’ near the end of the Pleistocene Epoch.
A team of researchers also found unusually high concentrations of platinum and iridium in outwash sediments from a recently discovered crater in Greenland that could have been the impact point.
The Earth has witnessed at least five ice ages. During ice ages, glaciers carve out the landscape, leaving deep valleys.