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megafauna


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1 Animals that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye.

2 Very large mammals (Mammalia) and birds (Aves), i.e. those exceeding 50 kg in body weight. Much controversy concerns the extinction of many members of the megafauna in the early part of the Holocene, especially in Europe and N. America. Climatic change is a possible factor, but most of the species involved had already survived previous interglacials. The distinctive aspect of the present interglacial is the rise to prominence of humans, and many megafaunal species became extinct at a time when hunting pressures were gaining strength.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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