How Early Humans May Have Transformed L.A.'s Landscape Forever

A smilodon (saber-tooth cat) fossil in the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Los Angeles. Credit: La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Join us on a time traveling ...

August 26, 2023
4:00 AM

A smilodon (saber-tooth cat) fossil in the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Los Angeles. Credit: La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Join us on a time traveling adventure, as we go back 15,000 years to visit what's now southern California. During the last Ice Age, saber-toothed cats, wooly mammoths, and dire wolves prowled the landscape, until … they didn't. The end of the Ice Age coincided with the end of these species. And for decades, scientists have been trying to figure out a big question: Why did these animals go extinct?  A new study i n the journal Science offers new clues and suggests that wildfires caused by humans might've been the nail in these critters' coffins.

Rasha Aridi