Questions for ‘An ancient cold snap causes heated debate’


About 13,000 years ago, bison, mammoths (seen here in an illustration) and other large mammals roamed North America. Researchers continue to argue over what led to their extinction.


To accompany feature ‘An ancient cold snap causes heated debate’


Before Reading: 

1. When you picture North America around the year 11,000 B.C., what do you see?

2. What would it take to change your mind about something you think is true?


During Reading: 

1. When did Earth’s last ice age end?

2. What was the Younger Dryas?

3. What do most scientists think caused the Younger Dryas?

4. What about scientists who support the “impact hypothesis” — what do they think?

5. What is an airburst? When and where did a major airburst happen in World War II?

6. What are sediment cores?

7. Why are artifacts from the Clovis people considered mysterious?

8. In fact, why might the Clovis people not be so mysterious after all, according to Vance Holiday?

9. What happened to large animals such as mammoths around 13,000 years ago?

10. How does Jennifer Marlon study ancient fires?

After Reading:

1. How do sediment cores help scientists understand ancient history?

2. Do you think the scientists who support the impact hypothesis should change their minds? Why or why not? Explain your reasoning.