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Lack of chronological support for stepwise prehuman extinctions of Australian megafauna

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The most enduring and high-profile scientific debate in Australian prehistory is that surrounding the loss of more than 50 species of endemic, large-bodied vertebrates (megafauna) and the timing of these extinctions (1). Wroe et al. (2) present a personal perspective on some of the available literature to reject the scenario of rapid, continent-wide losses, and downplay any role for human agency. They contend that different species of megafauna went extinct progressively during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with many “disappearing” long before human hunters arrived, leaving climate change as the alternative explanation. However, these conclusions rely on a biased selection of data and disregard several underlying geochronological constraints.

UOW Authors


  •   Brook, Barry W. (external author)
  •   Bradshaw, Corey J. A. (external author)
  •   Cooper, Alan (external author)
  •   Johnson, Chris N. (external author)
  •   Worthy, Trevor H. (external author)
  •   Bird, Michael I. (external author)
  •   Gillespie, Dizzy (external author)
  •   Roberts, Richard

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Brook, B. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Cooper, A., Johnson, C. N., Worthy, T. H., Bird, M., Gillespie, R. & Roberts, R. G. (2013). Lack of chronological support for stepwise prehuman extinctions of Australian megafauna. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 110 (36), E3368-E3368.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883444004

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1147

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • E3368

End Page


  • E3368

Volume


  • 110

Issue


  • 36

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • The most enduring and high-profile scientific debate in Australian prehistory is that surrounding the loss of more than 50 species of endemic, large-bodied vertebrates (megafauna) and the timing of these extinctions (1). Wroe et al. (2) present a personal perspective on some of the available literature to reject the scenario of rapid, continent-wide losses, and downplay any role for human agency. They contend that different species of megafauna went extinct progressively during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with many “disappearing” long before human hunters arrived, leaving climate change as the alternative explanation. However, these conclusions rely on a biased selection of data and disregard several underlying geochronological constraints.

UOW Authors


  •   Brook, Barry W. (external author)
  •   Bradshaw, Corey J. A. (external author)
  •   Cooper, Alan (external author)
  •   Johnson, Chris N. (external author)
  •   Worthy, Trevor H. (external author)
  •   Bird, Michael I. (external author)
  •   Gillespie, Dizzy (external author)
  •   Roberts, Richard

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Brook, B. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Cooper, A., Johnson, C. N., Worthy, T. H., Bird, M., Gillespie, R. & Roberts, R. G. (2013). Lack of chronological support for stepwise prehuman extinctions of Australian megafauna. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 110 (36), E3368-E3368.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883444004

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1147

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • E3368

End Page


  • E3368

Volume


  • 110

Issue


  • 36

Place Of Publication


  • United States