Cows to become largest mammals on Earth?

Books Wednesday 25/April/2018 13:15 PM
By: Times News Service
Cows to become largest mammals on Earth?

Muscat: Cows could become the largest mammals on earth if extinction continues at its current rate, according to a study published in the journal Science.
The 2,000-pound peaceful farm animals may end up the largest land dwellers left in "a few hundred years" thanks to a combination of hunting, poaching and carnivorous diets.
"Species that went extinct tended to be two to three times bigger than mammals that survived, a trend that was evident globally," the study noted, indicating that size and extinction rates were linked. Most mammals today are degrees smaller than mammals from thousands or millions of years ago.
If the trend continues "the largest mammal on Earth in a few hundred years may well be a domestic cow at about 900 kg", the researchers wrote.
The study's team of researchers looked into every continent in one million year intervals, over the last 65 million years of fossil data. Smith said the impact of humans moving around and out of the African continent around 125,000 years ago was "striking".
The study also found that 125,000 years ago, mammals were already 50 per cent smaller there than mammals on other continents, where humans had not made their way as yet. In North America, for instance, the mean body mass of land-based mammals has shrunk to 7.6 kg from 98 kg after humans arrived.