What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul?

Johnson, C.N., Alroy, J., Beeton, N.J., Bird, M.I., Brook, B., Cooper, A., Gillespie, R., Herrando-Pérez, S., Jacobs, Z., Miller, G., Prideaux, G., Roberts, R., Rodriguez-Rey, M., Saltre, F., Turney, C.S.M., and Bradshaw, C. (2016) What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 283 (1824). pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

During the Pleistocene, Australia and New Guinea supported a rich assemblage of large vertebrates. Why these animals disappeared has been debated for more than a century and remains controversial. Previous synthetic reviews of this problem have typically focused heavily on particular types of evidence, such as the dating of extinction and human arrival, and have frequently ignored uncertainties and biases that can lead to misinterpretation of this evidence. Here, we review diverse evidence bearing on this issue and conclude that, although many knowledge gaps remain, multiple independent lines of evidence point to direct human impact as the most likely cause of extinction.

Item ID: 43220
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: quaternary, prehistory, palaeoecology, archeology, human impacts, climate change
ISSN: 1471-2954
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Environment Institute
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 07:38
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040606 Quaternary Environments @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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