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Overhunting. Abrupt climate change. Disease.
Scientists have cited those and other theories in their decades-old debate about why mammoths, mastodons, sloths, saber-toothed cats, camels, horses and other large creatures disappeared from North America at the end of the last ice age.
now a research group that includes two University of Oregon scientists is proposing a more dramatic cause for the extinctions: A 3-mile-wide comet or asteroid exploded over Canada or slammed into the continent about 13,000 years ago.
The researchers say the impact also may have wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis people who flourished in North America at the time.
Michael Hansen, a geologist with the Ohio Geological Survey, said, "We have many sites in Ohio where we have found ice-age animals that are much younger than that."
Dale Gnidovec, curator of the Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State University, said, "It's a neat theory, but so far I haven't seen a lot of ironclad evidence."
Bradley Lepper, an archaeologist for the Ohio Historical Society, said, "The theorists have some interesting data, and it makes you want to believe. Just because of that we have to be skeptical.
"The Clovis smoothly transitioned into other cultures," he pointed out. "Out on the Plains, it changed into the Folsom culture.
Hans: I believe this is the basis of Scott Creighton's idea. He seems to think this comet took out Atlantis, and the Atlanteans left a design for the Egyptians to follow and who then built the pyramids to said plan to let us all know about it....