Holocene extinction event

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It is asserted by some that an extinction event, comparable to others observed in the fossil record, is occuring at present. Most of those asserting that this Holocene extinction event is occuring also assert that humanity is entirely responsible for it. Some specifically identify the start of this event with the dying off (or killing off) of the species Homo neanderthalensis.

No one disputes that a large number of species have recently (in geologic terms) become extinct. Around 10,000 years before the present, thirty-nine mammalian genera disappeared, almost all of them large-bodied "megafauna," including

  • native American horses
  • a few species of camels
  • several types of large ground sloth
  • several antelope species
  • "short-faced" bears (larger than the present grizzly)
  • sabertooth cats
  • the American lion (larger than the current African lion)
  • various species of mammoth
  • the American mastodon, Mammut americanum
  • dire wolves
  • diprotodon (a giant wombat)
  • Zygomaturus trilobus (a large marsupial herbivore)
  • Palorchestes azael (a marsupial "tapir")
  • Macropus titan (a giant kangaroo)
  • Procoptodon goliah (a hoof-toed giant short-faced kangaroo)
  • Wonambi naracoortensis (a gigantic Australian snake)
  • Thylacoleo carnifex (a leopard-sized marsupial lion)

Some prehistoric extinctions may be the sources of cryptozoological legends.

Such extinctions have continued to the present day. Within the last millennium, many other species have died off, such as

much, much more to come

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