Ancient Madagascan beasts were brought to extinction by a combination of human activity and a megadrought. This conclusion was arrived at by a study based on a mineral sample.
These giant-size ancient Madagascan beasts were the dodo bird, gorilla-sized lemurs, giant tortoises, and the largest birds to exist, the Elephant Bird that grows up to 9-feet big.
Many factors bring about the extinction of creatures. These creatures that lived on Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands were said to have survived thousands of repeated droughts, but what finished them off from the earth was when the megadroughts were combined with the humans' arrival.
While some of these giant creatures survived the droughts, they were driven to extinction by the arrival of humans.
A group of researchers from the University of Innsbruck took samples of mineral deposits and climate data dated 8,000 years ago to study the climate and analyze the environment back then in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands, reported the Daily Mail.
Also, to find out what caused the megafauna crash that occurred on both islands between 1500 and 500 years ago, that resulted in the extinction of large bird species and animals at almost the same time.
One conclusion reached was that the increased activity of the human species and a prolonged drought sealed the fate of these creatures.
Some theories range from climate change, long periods of drought that impacted those that cannot adapt, and humans who hunted everything in sight.
Mascarene Islands, which is off to Madagascar's eastern part, was the last island that humans inhabited and colonized.
Both Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands were lush and thriving but were impacted by the activities of humans.
However, it seemed that the human's arrival is not the only one to be blamed because the megadrought had been killing off numbers of Madagascan beasts already.
For thousands of years, the megafauna rebounded and repopulated their numbers. However, humans did not keep the balance, killing generations of these creatures.
According to the study, it got worse as a combination of hunting, cutting forests, and unregulated activity sealed the species' fate leading to extinction.
Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands are places of such biodiversity compared to other places on earth. But, animals endemic to the islands had long been instinct.
Lead scientist Hanying Li and others used the data they have and made a model of the climatic changes. They used the calcite deposits in the La Vierge cave in Rodrigues, Mascarene islands, as markers in time.
Researchers think that the calcite climatic markers reflect changes in the region and change on the island over a long time.
Examining the calcite data indicates whether it is dry or wet, what kind of climate the later Holocene period has, and gives clues to those changes that finally killed off the megafauna.
Climate must have been varied, and the megadroughts must have been bad for the Madagascan beasts. The super-extended dry seasons had caused these animals to become extinct.
However, what really nailed the coffin for ancient Madagascan beasts aside from the drastic climate change that resulted to megadroughts was the arrival of human and their activities.
Life may have bounced back in these places but without the Madagascan beasts.