Podcast: How Humans Caused Mass Extinctions Thousands of Years Ago

Humans have been the dominant species for longer than thought

public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Anthropocene is characterized by exponential global change driven by human activity. But humans have been impacting the planet since the very earliest days when we first appeared on the evolutionary tree. In fact, one of the longest running debates in paleontology centers on homo sapiens’ role in wiping out North America's enormous land animals, known as megafauna. In this episode of Generation Anthropocene, paleontologist Liz Hadly talks about what life looked like in the Pleistocene, the pattern of human dispersal around the globe, and new scientific techniques that allow us to understand how ecosystems respond to perturbations, like the arrival of early humans.

Related podcasts by Generation Anthropocene:

What Our Garbage Can Teach Us

All About Rare Earth Elements, The 'Vitamins' of Modern Society

Creating an Equation for Cities May Solve Ecological Conundrums

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