Late survival of megafauna refuted for Cloggs Cave, SE Australia: implications for the Australian Late Pleistocene megafauna extinction debate

David, Bruno, Arnold, Lee J., Delannoy, Jean-Jacques, Fresløv, Joanna, Urwin, Chris, Petchey, Fiona, McDowell, Matthew C., Mullett, Russell, Corporation, GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal, Mialanes, Jerome, Wood, Rachel, Crouch, Joe, Berthet, Johan, Wong, Vanessa N.L., Green, Helen, and Hellstrom, John (2021) Late survival of megafauna refuted for Cloggs Cave, SE Australia: implications for the Australian Late Pleistocene megafauna extinction debate. Quaternary Science Reviews, 253. 106781.

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Abstract

Understanding of Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions in Australia and New Guinea (Sahul) suffers from a paucity of reliably dated bone deposits. Researchers are divided as to when, and why, large-bodied species became extinct. Critical to these interpretations are so-called ‘late survivors’, megafauna that are thought to have persisted for tens of thousands of years after the arrival of people. While the original dating of most sites with purported late survivors has been shown to have been erroneous or problematic, one site continues to feature: Cloggs Cave. Here we report new results that show that Cloggs Cave’s youngest megafauna were deposited in sediments that date to 44,500–54,160 years ago, more than 10,000 years older than previously thought, bringing them into chronological alignment with the emerging continental pattern of megafaunal extinctions. Our results indicate that the youngest megafauna specimens excavated from Cloggs Cave datedate to well before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and their demise could not have been driven by climate change leading into the LGM, the peak of the last Ice Age.

Item ID: 67580
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-457X
Keywords: Megafauna; Late Pleistocene extinctions; Cloggs cave; Landscape change; Radiocarbon dating; OSL dating
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015), ARC Future Fellowship (FT130100195)
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2021 03:04
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 30%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 70%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 100%
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