If megafauna thrive in the Americas and Australia

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,739
Florania
Some may consider the relative "backwardness" of the Americas and Australia before contacts was
due to lack of megafauna.
Then, uses of cacao and maple syrups demonstrated that Native Americans might have their unique
technologies.
I enjoy drinking mixes of ashwagandha and cacao powder; then, it is another issue.
Let's imagine an alternative scenario in which the megafauna of Americas and Australia thrive, which
can include equines, camelids, bovines other than muskox and bison.
Or in the case of Australia, the large marsupials thrive.
How could the existence of these animals affect human development?
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Big and strong animals, if easy to domesticate, can become means of transport and they can help humans about heavy jobs. In Southern America only animals like llamas were available [btw, the llama is a camelid, but it's little]. And in fact they have domesticated it just for this. But a llama weights between 130 and 200kg, so it's rather light. A horse weights more than 500kg without troubles, an ox weights around one ton [1,000kg] ... even a donkey can weight and be stronger than a llama.

The absence of similar animals [towing animals] affected they development of local civilizations for sure. There is who says that without horses and oxes to have chariots with wheels wasn't that great idea in mountain regions: a chariot is heavy and on a rise you need a strong animal to drag it. May be this is among the reasons why they didn't think to realized wheeled vehicles. For example Incas walked with their llamas which carried their luggage.

With towing animals is absolutely possibel that local civilizations knew a development like the one we have known in Eurasia and Africa. And their agriculture would have had a possibility to win on local vegetation [like it has happened in these continents].
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,739
Florania
Big and strong animals, if easy to domesticate, can become means of transport and they can help humans about heavy jobs. In Southern America only animals like llamas were available [btw, the llama is a camelid, but it's little]. And in fact they have domesticated it just for this. But a llama weights between 130 and 200kg, so it's rather light. A horse weights more than 500kg without troubles, an ox weights around one ton [1,000kg] ... even a donkey can weight and be stronger than a llama.

The absence of similar animals [towing animals] affected they development of local civilizations for sure. There is who says that without horses and oxes to have chariots with wheels wasn't that great idea in mountain regions: a chariot is heavy and on a rise you need a strong animal to drag it. May be this is among the reasons why they didn't think to realized wheeled vehicles. For example Incas walked with their llamas which carried their luggage.

With towing animals is absolutely possibel that local civilizations knew a development like the one we have known in Eurasia and Africa. And their agriculture would have had a possibility to win on local vegetation [like it has happened in these continents].
Bison were never domesticated; they remain one of the most dangerous animals in North America.
The imagined scenario is that camelids and equines of North America thrived and became domesticated, and what might have changed if they existed?
 
Oct 2017
377
America ??
How elephants were at least in the process of being domesticated in Asia might suggest that some megafauna species could have been as well.
It’s commonly said that the easiest animals to domesticate are social, as humans basically fill the role of their alpha or leader figure, like with dogs & horses; & that fulfilling their social needs addresses many of their needs which cannot as easily be for non-social animals, like sheep & cattle.
Then again, fossils only reveal so much & are really more of a glimpse rather than a full image of the distant past.