The Faunal Diversity of Pleistocene North America was less than that of Modern Day Africa


Pleistocene North America has often been described as having a bestiary resembling that of the African continent.  I’ve probably even used this description myself.  This is not accurate.  The North American continent was home to a healthy ecosystem consisting of megafaunal herbivores, carnivores, and scavengers.  It was a vast unpeopled wilderness until man arrived and brought destruction upon many of the largest and most impressive species.  Yet, in species diversity, the North American Pleistocene doesn’t even come close to rivaling that of Africa.  There are 1100 species of mammals native to Africa compared to the 540 species of native North American mammals that lived during the Pleistocene–nearly double the number of species.  Yes, North America hosted 4 kinds of elephants, the unique giant ground sloths and armadillos, bison, camels, horse, peccaries, bears, big cats, and wolves. But Africa has 2 kinds of elephants, 2 kinds of rhinos, hippos, giraffes, hogs…

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About George Crawford

archaeologist, archer, primitive technologist, and wannabee musician ... mostly
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