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  • 3 North American prehistoric mammals survive

    What would be the effects of the non-extinction in North America of the Wooly Mammoth, Americian Mastadon, and the Camelops? Let's say for this thread the natural range of the Wooly Mammoth is in Canada's praries to the west and an extreme south of parts of North Dakota, Montana, and perhaps Washington.

    The Mastadon is quite more numerous and successful and speads from the edge of the Rockies as far as Florida and as far north as the Badlands and into the Mid Atlantic just shy of New England with the species developing into 2 breeds (with regional sub classifications) of Plains and Forest Mastadon. The Forset being smaller with smaller tusks than its plains relative and choosing to live a less social live more as a deer does than the plains version whom lives in large herds.

    The Camelops would have a natural range of most of Mexico and the American Southwest into Nevada and parts of Utah.

    What effects would these animals have on the indigieonus people's cultural and technological development and what effects would they have during the European conquest of America? Would they be domesticated for labor, transport, or military purposes?
    Кто там?
    Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
    Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

  • #2
    I would think, at least in the case of the mammoth and mastodon, they would go the same way as the American Bison: hunted almost to extinction, then saved from the brink by later conservation efforts.

    As far as their impact on indigenous cultures, the American Indian peoples were (as we know) heavily dependent on the animals they hunted as the basis of their society. I think the survival of the old Ice Age megafauna would not have changed this fact, only the primary source of food, clothing, storage building materials etc. would be the mammoth and mastodon instead of the bison.

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    • #3
      Human predation caused the trophic collapse in the Americas, Europe and much of Asia. The only way those mammals could have survived is if we didn’t.
      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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      • #4
        Interesting.

        I disagree that the natives would have changed food sources. Bison are a lot easier (relative term) to kill than mastodons.

        Ivory hunting, however, would have wiped out the mastodons by 1870. Ivory placed a large part in the pre-plastic days, and the demand still remains high enough today.

        I expect the Plains Indians would have traded ivory for guns and ammunition, and having a better trade good than furs and bison hides would certain amp up their ability to acquire firearms.

        Which brings up a separate question: getting more firearms from the ivory trade would mean that the Indian threat in the 1850s and 1860s would have been visibly more dangerous; would this simply drag out the Indian wars a few years, or would it dismiss some of the bureaucratic indifference that Washington had and result in a swifter and more vicious submission?

        Another question: would these huge beasts inspire more interest in the post ACW period and draw more movement out West?
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          There is some talk that horses did survive in North America. The sudden population explosion in the North Plains and Rockies of horses is fairy incredible. Some make a suggestion that the Appaloosa Breed may have some ancient ancestors that survived.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
            Interesting.

            I disagree that the natives would have changed food sources. Bison are a lot easier (relative term) to kill than mastodons.

            Ivory hunting, however, would have wiped out the mastodons by 1870. Ivory placed a large part in the pre-plastic days, and the demand still remains high enough today.

            I expect the Plains Indians would have traded ivory for guns and ammunition, and having a better trade good than furs and bison hides would certain amp up their ability to acquire firearms.

            Which brings up a separate question: getting more firearms from the ivory trade would mean that the Indian threat in the 1850s and 1860s would have been visibly more dangerous; would this simply drag out the Indian wars a few years, or would it dismiss some of the bureaucratic indifference that Washington had and result in a swifter and more vicious submission?

            Another question: would these huge beasts inspire more interest in the post ACW period and draw more movement out West?
            On your last point, would they lead to more movement pre-ACW - a valuable resource more visible than gold leading to an "ivory rush" and inevitable serious confrontations with the Plains Indians leading to earlier administration and possible statehood leading to more free state-slave state issues and a possible earlier ACW? Perhaps European Powers more deter ended to hold on to their North American Claims?
            Кто там?
            Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
            Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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            • #7
              One of two things would have happened:

              The first is at some point in the past 200 or so years they are hunted to extinction, or near extinction like the buffalo.

              The second is they are forced into near extinction by the loss of habitat and range (large animals need a lot of range to forage) due to human population growth.

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                  On your last point, would they lead to more movement pre-ACW - a valuable resource more visible than gold leading to an "ivory rush" and inevitable serious confrontations with the Plains Indians leading to earlier administration and possible statehood leading to more free state-slave state issues and a possible earlier ACW? Perhaps European Powers more deter ended to hold on to their North American Claims?
                  Well, the mammoth range you've indicated would leave out most Euro powers because the USA would have been established before the ivory possibilities would have become of interest.

                  Its unlikely that they would have really spurred western expansion pre-ACW; the '48 Gold Rush was simple passage through the Plains Indians area, and even so it cost the travelers heavily.

                  Three things were needed for serious western expansion: steam-powered transport to the jump-off points (rails and steamships), weapons which can allow the whites to confront the Indians on a even footing (breech loaders, revolvers) and the smallpox, cholera, and typhus outbreaks which decimated the Plains Indians fighting strength.

                  Three things broke the Plains tribes: disease, breech loaders, and the buffalo hunter. The former hit most effectively between 1840s into the 1850s (the Gold Rush really got the northern plains tribes). The latter required rail heads to make moving the green hides in bulk economically viable.

                  I expect ivory, like buffalo hides, would require rails to get them back economically, so an Ivory Rush would still need to be post ACW.

                  Chief's like Red Cloud understood the importance of guns, and modern guns rather than trade muskets; since maintenance and repair were beyond the tribes, a constant supply was needed. Red Cloud was the most forward thinking, and while the idea of gold escaped him, he had his braves wiping out buffalo for the hides, leaving the bodies to rot (a major cultural sin) in order to secure guns and ammunition before his offensive against the 18th Infantry along the Bozeman Trail (Fort Phil Kearny in particular). I think he would have grasped the idea of ivory.

                  IMO, for what that's worth,
                  Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
                    I would think, at least in the case of the mammoth and mastodon, they would go the same way as the American Bison: hunted almost to extinction, then saved from the brink by later conservation efforts.

                    As far as their impact on indigenous cultures, the American Indian peoples were (as we know) heavily dependent on the animals they hunted as the basis of their society. I think the survival of the old Ice Age megafauna would not have changed this fact, only the primary source of food, clothing, storage building materials etc. would be the mammoth and mastodon instead of the bison.
                    It was the "indigenous culture" that hunted them into extinction.
                    A previous post of mine, Run Away!!! The Anthropocene is Coming!!!, drew some criticism about my assertion “that modern man migrated out of Africa and hunted the megafauna of Europe and North America into extinction.” My comment was at least somewhat sarcastic… And yes, I do know that the human migration out of Africa began long before the Holocene, but, it is a simple fact that mastodons, stegodons and mammoths had “weathered” all of the prior Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles just fine. The only major distinction between the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene and the previous glacial-interglacial transitions was the migration of humans out of Africa, across the world and the demise of most of the mega fauna that were in the path of that migration…



                    While I may profusely ridicule the notion that mankind’s industrial activities over the last 200 years have given rise to a unit of geological time, distinct from the Holocene… I fully believe that mankind’s conquest of Earth since the late Pleistocene is the only thing that truly distinguishes the Holocene from previous Quaternary interglacials.

                    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/0...st-vindicated/

                    The only way mastodons, mammoths and other megafauna could have survived would have been if we didn't.

                    Our domestication of wolves (dogs) enabled us become the global apex predator. Othsrwise, we probably would still mostly be in Africa and Neanderthals would still be eking out an existence in Europe.
                    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                    • #11
                      Whats the explanation for the survival of African mega-fauna which had been subject to human predication for at least 5 times the length of that of the Americas?
                      Wack tac mac hey.
                      Regards.
                      Grishnak.

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                      • #12
                        Why they went extinct is beyond the scope of this thread.
                        Кто там?
                        Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                        Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                          Whats the explanation for the survival of African mega-fauna which had been subject to human predication for at least 5 times the length of that of the Americas?
                          The fact that by the time people got around to hunting it in mass there were the beginnings of nature conservation going on. There was also a monetary component that compelled some to protect the animals as in zoos and such.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                            Whats the explanation for the survival of African mega-fauna which had been subject to human predication for at least 5 times the length of that of the Americas?
                            1. Humans evolved alongside of the African megafauna in a stable habitat.

                            2. The megafauna of the Americas and Eurasia literally couldn't get out of the way. As the continental ice sheets retreated, North America and Eurasia were riddled with raging rivers of outward flow. Humans and dogs were pursuing prey into a shrinking habitat.

                            Global megafauna handled about a dozen glacial-interglacial transitions just fine. African and some Asian megafauna handled the Pleistocene-Holocene transition just fine. The only megafauna that bought the evolutionary farm were the ones who happened to be in our way. The Holocene arrivals of large numbers of humans were almost invariably followed by trophic collapse.
                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                              Why they went extinct is beyond the scope of this thread.
                              The only possible hypothetical in which they survived would be one in which we either didn’t or largely remained in Africa.
                              Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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