Why Do Megafauna Become Extinct

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The word mega in megafauna (fig 1: megafauna) means huge, and fauna means animals so when you put it together it means huge animals. Most megafauna were over 40kg and 30% bigger than their relatives who are alive today. They’ve existed for over 11 million years, but then disappeared in a mass extinction 46,000 years ago (Mandy McLauchlan, 2016). There are several ideas of how they became extinct which includes the ill, kill and chill factors. Ill being a disease which infected the megafauna and ultimately killed them off. Kill is where humans come in and hunt down the megafauna until extinction. Finally chill is climate change, which means megafauna couldn’t handle the change in climate.
Climate change is the main reason why megafauna became extinct.

When megafauna were alive the climate was changing. Australia’s climate was cooler, because Australia was attached to Antarctica. Evidence is shown in Hallet Cove because rocks had glacier scratches. A rise in temperature occurred when Gondwana broke up (fig 2), all the animals had to change their ways of living because the climate changed from cold-dry to warm-dry.
The sudden change in
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Stone tools and megafauna fossils were found in New South Wales, Cuddie Springs. When dating was done on surrounding fossils results showed the stone tools were 30,000 years old (Gemma Black, 2010). Some scientists suggest that the arrival of aboriginals 60,000 years ago is the reason why the megafauna population started declining. Aboriginals hunted megafauna in a 15,000 year time frame, they also changed the vegetation due to the fires they created. The Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology said natives hunted juvenile megafauna because they were smaller and easier to hunt. However, this killed off the next generation of megafauna which in the long term led to extinction (Laura Boness,

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