Academic journal article Science Scope

Without Humans, the Whole World Could Look like the Serengeti

Academic journal article Science Scope

Without Humans, the Whole World Could Look like the Serengeti

Article excerpt

The fact that the greatest diversity of large mammals currently is found in Africa reflects past human activities--not climatic or other environmental constraints. A new study presents what the world map of mammals would look like if modern humans (Homo sapiens) had never existed.

In a world without humans, most of northern Europe would probably now be home to not only wolves, Eurasian elk (moose), and bears, but also animals such as elephants and rhinoceroses.

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"Most safaris today take place in Africa, but under natural circumstances, as many or even more large animals would no doubt have existed in other places, e.g., notably parts of the New World such as Texas and neighboring areas and the region around northern Argentina-Southern Brazil. The reason that many safaris target Africa is not because the continent is naturally abnormally rich in species of mammals. Instead it reflects that it's one of the only places where human activities have not yet wiped out most of the large animals," says Soren Faurby, the study's lead author. …

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