Clovis-Killed Mammals

Author(s): Gary Haynes; Janis Klimowicz

Year: 2017


Published opinion pieces about Clovis prey choices are unintentionally misleading. Over 120 individual animals from 8 extinct megafaunal species (or 12, depending upon taxonomy) were killed by Clovis people in a relatively short time span, according to conservative estimates -- and the number is even higher in some lists. The 11 Clovis sites said to have acceptable evidence for human predation on mammoths actually contain 50-53 separate individuals, some being discrete kills that should be counted independently; and some are probably also equivalent to discrete short-term camps. In the cold reversals of the Bølling-Allerød warming phase, both extinct and non-extinct megafaunal genera suffered through periods of population fragmentation and reduced genetic diversity, making them more sensitive to environmental stress, but these taxa had also recovered from earlier such periods, suggesting that loss of genetic diversity was not necessarily a precursor of extinction. If Clovis hunting contributed to any extinctions, it was likely through the localized hunting of juvenile and young adult individuals in fragmented populations with low fecundity.

Cite this Record

Clovis-Killed Mammals. Gary Haynes, Janis Klimowicz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429527)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14341