The scientists found that the number and diversity of small animals and vegetation decreased all along the Pacific Northwest, as well as the western and northeastern United States, after mammoth and mastodon extinctions. In Alaska and the Yukon, what was once a mix of forest and grassland became mostly tundra after the loss of mammoths, native horses and other large animals, according to the study.
Nowhere has the change been more dramatic than in the Bay Area. Columbian mammoths were among thousands of now-extinct animals that roamed the region as late as 12,000 years ago. The shoreline was 12 miles farther out at that time, and a vast plain stretched from the Golden Gate, where a fast-moving river flowed, to the Farallon Islands.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
The San Francisco Chronicle mentions the Farallons in Peter Fimrite, Big animals’ extinction forever alters environment, study shows.