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Humans v nature: our long and destructive journey to the age of extinction

The story of the biodiversity crisis starts with a cold-case murder mystery that is tens of thousands of years old. When humans started spreading across the globe they discovered a world full of huge, mythical-sounding mammals called “megafauna”, but by the end of the Pleistocene, one by one, these large animals had disappeared. There is no smoking gun and evidence from ancient crime scenes is – unsurprisingly – patchy. But what investigators have learned suggests a prime suspect: humans.

A man stands on a pile of buffalo skulls as another rests his foot on one at a glue factory in Rougeville, Michigan, 1892. Photograph: AP

Door: Phoebe Weston, 25-11-2022

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