Online Journal of Anthropology

hunting

 

Tiny Island Deer in Panama Was Hunted to Extinction Thousands of Years Ago

 

Tiny Island Deer in Panama Was Hunted to Extinction Thousands of Years Ago

As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the global sea level rose and Panama’s Pearl Islands were isolated from the mainland.

 

As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the global sea level rose and Panama’s Pearl Islands were isolated from the mainland. A new archaeological study by a team including a Smithsonian scientist shows that several thousand years later pre-Columbian colonists hunted a dwarf deer to extinction on an island called Pedro González.

 

The settlers arrived on the 14-hectare island by sea 6,200 years ago and stayed for a maximum of eight centuries, farming maize and roots, fishing, gathering palm fruits and shellfish and hunting deer, opossums, agoutis, iguanas and large snakes—the major predators.

 
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