Climate change not to blame for late Quaternary megafauna extinctions in Australia.

Saltré, Frédérik, Rodríguez-Ray, Mara, Brook, Barry W., Johnson, Christopher N., Turney, Chris S.M., Alroy, John, Cooper, Alan, Beeton, Nicholas, Bird, Michael I., Fordham, Damien A., Gillespie, Richard, Herrando-Pérez, Salvador, Jacobs, Zenobia, Miller, Gifford H., Nogués-Bravo, David, Prideaux, Gavin J., Roberts, Richard G., and Bradshaw, Corey J.A. (2016) Climate change not to blame for late Quaternary megafauna extinctions in Australia. Nature Communications, 7. 10511. pp. 1-7.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (596kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10511
 
46
51


Abstract

Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions impoverished mammalian diversity worldwide. The causes of these extinctions in Australia are most controversial but essential to resolve, because this continent-wide event presaged similar losses that occurred thousands of years later on other continents. Here we apply a rigorous metadata analysis and new ensemble-hindcasting approach to 659 Australian megafauna fossil ages. When coupled with analysis of several high-resolution climate records, we show that megafaunal extinctions were broadly synchronous among genera and independent of climate aridity and variability in Australia over the last 120,000 years. Our results reject climate change as the primary driver of megafauna extinctions in the world’s most controversial context, and instead estimate that the megafauna disappeared Australia-wide ∼13,500 years after human arrival, with shorter periods of coexistence in some regions. This is the first comprehensive approach to incorporate uncertainty in fossil ages, extinction timing and climatology, to quantify mechanisms of prehistorical extinctions.

Item ID: 47992
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Keywords: quaternary, megafauna, chronology
Additional Information:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.

Funders: University of Adelaide, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project grant DP130103842, ARC Future Fellowship FT110100306, ARC Future Fellowship FT100100200, ARC Future Fellowship FT130101728, ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship FL140100044, ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship FL140100260, ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship FL130100116, ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship FL100100195
Research Data: http://dx.doi.org/10.4227/05/564E6209C4FE8
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 22:53
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 51
Last 12 Months: 21
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page