Albuquerque, NM (KKOB) — What would happen if the remaining megafauna like elephants and giraffes went extinct? New research by Professor of Biology, Felisa Smith, at UNM recently set out to answer that question. By unearthing ancient animal diets and researching how they changed when creatures like woolly mammoths went extinct, Smith and her team learned the modern decline of lions, rhinos, and other large-bodied mammals will have serious ecosystem consequences. Smith says, should any of these larger species die off, smaller mammals simply won’t be able to keep up their roles in the ecosystem, which could change wild landscapes, result in over population, and create chaos for us at the top of the food chain. The team’s findings were published this summer in a scientific journal.