The easily explains the , as well as why they disappeared so quickly along with the other megafauna, but the big game were whales. Whales are an order of magnitude larger than elephants; the largest blue whale is about 25 times the size of today’s largest elephant. at the Roman port of Ostia, and by about 500 CE, whales had been hunted to extinction in the Mediterranean. Until humans achieved the social organization and technological prowess that allowed them to and hunt whales, that energy source remained unexploited. After Rome collapsed, (other than in the , beginning around 1050 CE), when Europeans learned to sail the oceans with history’s greatest energy technology to that time: sailing ships that could navigate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


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