A recent study has reported that humans have a tendency for killing large mammals. It includes all ranging from plant-eating herbivores to meat-eating carnivores. Which is now resulting in the extinction of species from both categories.
This mass killing of large mammals by humans could be a fundamental reason for seeing a change in the natural balance. The balance that governs how animals obtain energy from food.
Humans’ rapid disruption of this natural order could possibly have potentially unforeseen effects. The size of herbivores and omnivores has reduced by roughly 100 times since the rise of Homo sapiens over the last few hundred thousand years. Whereas the size of carnivores has decreased by about 10 times.
In this regard, Dr. Gearty has given his opinion and said that the diet and size influences can be used to tell a species’ complete evolutionary and ecological histories. Moreover, this can help in reducing the extinction rate of large creatures.
Herbivores have evolved complex digestive systems to absorb maximum nutrients from their plant-based diet. Their plant-based diet is generally low in nutrition. On the other hand, Carnivores must grow large enough to keep up with and kill herbivores.
Apart from this, the omnivores normally keep their bellies full. Moreover, their high energy demands force them to focus on nuts, insects, and other small, energy-dense items.
Finally, while invertivores eat largely protein-rich prey, their small size, along with fierce competition from many other invertivores, forces them to be the tiniest of all invertebrates.
In terms of the future, the researchers claim that humans are now flattening the U-curve. Which indicates that we are on track to extinction for some of the largest remaining species, such as the tiger and Javan rhino. It’s also likely that the upcoming drop in animal body sizes will outrun even the remarkable dip seen in the last few hundred thousand years.