Scientists at Goteborg University in Sweden called the true cause of the extinction of many animal species over the past few million years. It turned out that the ancestors of modern humans competed with predators. About it reported in a press release on Science Alert.
The researchers studied fossils in East Africa and tracked the reduction in the number of prehistoric carnivores. This correlated with the increase in the size of hominin brain (the subfamily of hominids) and the change in vegetation, but not climate change, as usually observed in global extinctions.
According to experts, the disappearance of predators, caused by direct competition for food with human ancestors. The latter practiced kleptoparasitism, that is, stealing of animals caught prey that could greatly affect the population of hunters. Later, the primates have become effective hunters of herbivores, which also negatively affected the predators.
Homo sapiens appeared about 200 thousand years ago, which corresponds to the age of the common ancestor in the maternal line (mitochondrial eve), but the line, which is associated with the origin of modern man, separated from other species of hominids over six million years ago. Over the last four million years the brain of humans has tripled in size, with hominini began to use primitive tools.
Video, photo All from Russia.