BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A recent discovery has led scientists to deduce that species of mega birds went extinct after the early settlers of Australia consumed its eggs. According to the project’s synopsis, human predation led giant Australian bird to extinction.
The birds in question belong to a much larger family of animals called the megafauna. According to the scientific literature, this family of animals also included a gargantuan 1000 pounds kangaroo and even a wombat which was allegedly the size of a small car.
Dubbed the Genyornis newtoni, the bird lived approximately 44.000 to 54.000 years ago in Australia. From the fossils the scientists have deduced that the bird most probably possessed something which resembled wings, but could not achieve flight. On the other hand, the bird was considered a sight to behold due to its impressive size.
Using computer reconstruction, the scientists have determined that the majestic bygone bird was over 7 feet tall and weighed around 500 pounds. If you think this is impressive, wait until you hear about its eggs. According to a team of scientists in charge of this project, the super bird would have been capable of laying 3.5-pound eggs, approximately the size of a soccer ball.
The study was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Colorado, led by Gifford Miller, a professor of geology working at the said University. The professor and his team had the opportunity of studying no more than 2000 eggshell sample retrieved from the sand dunes in Australia.
The team’s main objective was to find out what led to the giant bird’s extinction. After 100 years’ worth of scientifical debates, the team has concluded that human predation led giant Australian bird to extinction. More specifically, our own unquenchable appetite for boiled eggs led to the bird’s extinction.
Let us take a closer look at the study in order to see how the scientists arrived at this baffling and dazzling conclusion about the bird’s fate. First of all, as we mentioned before, the events that led to the extinction of Genyorni newtoni were still enveloped in a shroud of mystery, meaning that no one could say for sure why the bird perished.
According to more traditional theories, the Genyorni newtoni went extinct approximately 40.000 to 60.000 years ago during a climatological even known as the continental drying. Basically, the continental drying was a mild climate shift.
But, it would seem that this theory can be easily refuted by another scientifical finding, according to which the massive birds were still alive during the Pleistocene epoch, marked by no less than 11 glacial events and severe climate shifts. Thus, the scientists established that it is erroneous to assume that the continental drying led the birds to extinctions, as long as the Genyorni managed to make it through the Pleistocene epoch, which was harsher than the continental drying.
After establishing this fact, we are still left with one ardent question: what led the Genyorni to their demise? It would seem that the eggshells provided the answer to this question. According to Miller, the head scientists, many of the eggshells retrieved from Australia had scorched marks on them.
Using a technique called optically stimulated luminescence dating, the scientists tried to establish the approximate age of the eggshells. This dating method basically analyzes when the quartz grains found inside the eggshells were last exposed to the light of the Sun. Their analysis concluded that the eggs are between 44.000 and 54.000 years old.
But the scorch marks found on the eggshells could have meant anything. And so, the intrepid team of scientists began to rule out outside events that could have contributed to the egg’s exposure to fire. An amino acid analysis revealed some expected results.
Miller pointed out that in the case of natural occurring phenomena such as wildfire, the amino acids found inside the eggshells would exhibit uniform patterns. But their experiment revealed that the eggshells actually display gradient marks.
Ruling out all possibilities, the team has concluded that the only explanation that could account for the scorch marks and the bird’s impromptu disappearance: human interference.
The scientists aren’t exactly sure when the first human colonies began to sprout in Australia, but modern theories would suggest that the first humans arrived in Australia approximately 47.000 years ago, traveling from Indonesia on a make-shift raft.
Taking into account the chronology and the chemical analysis we can clearly state that human predation led giant Australian bird to extinction.