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CONTENTS of 1,000,000 BC- 8,001 BC: The peopling of the prehistoric Americas and the extinctions of the American megafauna

This page last updated on or about 10-13-05
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Approximately 400,000 BC: The Earth warms up considerably and stays that way for at least 30,000 years; Titanus may be going extinct in the Americas

Global sea levels stabilize at 7.5 meters above 1999 AD levels for millennia, then rapidly rise to about 20 meters higher than 1999 levels, remain there for thousands of years, and finally decline back to 1999 levels over a period of a couple millennia.

Note that any long term hominid settlements in low lying coastal areas are being flooded and erased during this time worldwide, thereby forcing many potential innovations leading to agriculture or other characteristics of civilization to be postponed or forgotten as populations are repeatedly forced to move elsewhere to start again from scratch.

-- "In Ancient Ice Ages, Clues to Climate" By WILLIAM K. STEVENS, 2-16-99, The New York Times

-- "The big thaw"by Jeff Hecht, Boston, From New Scientist, 17 April 1999

Titanus (a giant flightless predatory bird) may yet be roaming Florida; in the past it and its kin terrorized South America (24 million BC and later). Around 3 million BC the two American continents were connected by the closure of the Isthmus of Panama, and the predator expanded into the north. Titanus is up to six feet tall and 400 pounds, can likely run at horse galloping speeds (40 mph), and may be nearly as stealthy when hunting as 20th century big cats like lions and tigers.

Titanus is something close to a reincarnated velociraptor from the dinosaur ages-- only with feathers and a stubbier tail. As such, it may hunt in packs.

It may be that Titanus and its ilk mostly prey upon mammals smaller than adult humans-- but still it seems that children would be at high risk, and solitary adults too, where caught in the open by a pack of Titanus.

-- Decline of the Terror Birds ["http://www.terrorvogel.de/decline_.html"] Titanis ["http://www.terrorvogel.de/titanis_.html"], Carl Dennis Buell - Titanus ["http://www.infomagic.com/~olduvai/Pages/Titanus.html"], Coolrox Limited: The Hunt for Titanus [http://coolrox.com/titanus.htm"], Extinct Birds ["http://www.zoomdinosaurs.com/subjects/birds/Earlybirds.shtml"], >WRI Article: "A History of Extinction" ["http://www.wri.org/wri/biodiv/b03-koa.html"], Pleistocene Extinctions ["http://www.uiowa.edu/~anthro/webcourse/naarch/extinct.html"], Biodiversity and Conservation (book) ["http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~sustain/bio65/Titlpage.htm#Table%20of%20contents"], EXTINCTION AND DEPLETION FROM OVER-EXPLOITATION ["http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~sustain/bio65/lec03/b65lec03.htm"], UF SCIENTIST'S DISCOVERY CHALLENGES ASSUMPTIONSä ["http://www.napa.ufl.edu/oldnews/bigbird.htm"], History of Life(book) ["http://www-geology.ucdavis.edu/~GEL3/3webpages.html"], JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY 15(4), Decemä ["http://www.museum.state.il.us/svp/jvp/15_4_jvp.html"], and NWF - International Wildlife Magazine - Birds, ä ["http://backstage.nwf.org/nwf/intlwild/claprail.html"]

AUTHOR'S NOTE. Yes, I recognize that I mention the possible extinction of Titanus not once but at several different moments in this chronology. The reason is that there remains considerable uncertainty as to just when the terror bird actually kicked the bucket. And this uncertainty covers an enormous range of time-- reaching all the way forward into possible encounters with some of the early humans trodding the American continents! I will narrow the time frame down as more evidence becomes available. END NOTE.

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