How extinction of five-tonne sloths slows up growth along the Amazon
With all the forests, one would think the Amazon grew fairly quick. There happen to vast regions of the Amazon that are growing more slowly than they were several thousand years ago because they lack the fertilizing.
A study of how soil nutrients are distributed within the Amazon basin has revealed there is a dearth of vital minerals such as phosphorus because large mammals no longer roam the region to fertilise the soil with their dung.
Scientists believe that the extinction of large herbivores, such as five-tonne ground sloths and armadillo-like glyptodonts the size of small cars, led to a serious imbalance of soil minerals which is still having an impact today.
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