The findings of the study were published in the journal Science Advances. It claimed that these species were killed off as a result of human activities and rapid climate change.
Molecular biologist Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide said that human hunting was also responsible for the extinction of these Ice Age giants. They found it tough to cope with the rapid global warming and were eventually wiped out from the Earth.
For the study, the researchers studied ancient DNA from teeth and bones discovered in caves in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The team included scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia, University of Colorado-Boulder in the United States and University of Magallanes in Chile.
"Patagonia turns out to be the Rosetta Stone -it shows that human colonization didn't immediately result in extinctions, but only as long as it stayed cold," Cooper said.
After a thousand years of humans roaming the icy Patagonia, the Earth began to rapidly warm up. This resulted in the extinction of these species within 100 years.