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Late pleistocene megafauna site at black creek swamp, flinders chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The occurrence of fossil vertebrate remains at Black Creek Swamp at the western end of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, along with reports of 'primitive' stone implements in the vicinity has, for more than seventy years, fuelled speculation that this site would reveal a definitive relationship between humans and megafauna. Radiocarbon dating in the 1970s and again in 2004 suggested accumulation at around the last glacial maximum, making it potentially the youngest megafaunal deposit in Australia. Our excavations produced no artefacts and no evidence of butchering. Taphonomic evidence indicates three phases of drought accumulation around an ephemeral water source. These droughts may have been induced by climate, sinkhole drainage, or both. The fauna includes 29 species; one third of the species are extinct. This component is represented by browsing herbivores and their putative predator, Thylacoleo carnifex. The extant species indicate a mosaic of habitats including open sclerophyll forest, grassy patches, areas of shrubby understorey and semi-permanent water sources. The occurrence of two dwarfed species is suggestive of isolation and resource depletion. Multiple dating techniques (OSL, ESR, U-series and 14C) revealed a complex geochemical history for this site. New age estimates place the fossil accumulation between 110 and 45 ka. © AAP.

UOW Authors


  •   Forbes, Matt S. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2006

Citation


  • Wells, R. T., Grün, R., Sullivan, J., Forbes, M. S., Dalgairns, S., Bestland, E. A., . . . Eggins, S. (2006). Late pleistocene megafauna site at black creek swamp, flinders chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Alcheringa, 30(SUPPL. 1), 367-387. doi:10.1080/03115510609506873

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-48549098353

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 367

End Page


  • 387

Volume


  • 30

Issue


  • SUPPL. 1

Abstract


  • The occurrence of fossil vertebrate remains at Black Creek Swamp at the western end of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, along with reports of 'primitive' stone implements in the vicinity has, for more than seventy years, fuelled speculation that this site would reveal a definitive relationship between humans and megafauna. Radiocarbon dating in the 1970s and again in 2004 suggested accumulation at around the last glacial maximum, making it potentially the youngest megafaunal deposit in Australia. Our excavations produced no artefacts and no evidence of butchering. Taphonomic evidence indicates three phases of drought accumulation around an ephemeral water source. These droughts may have been induced by climate, sinkhole drainage, or both. The fauna includes 29 species; one third of the species are extinct. This component is represented by browsing herbivores and their putative predator, Thylacoleo carnifex. The extant species indicate a mosaic of habitats including open sclerophyll forest, grassy patches, areas of shrubby understorey and semi-permanent water sources. The occurrence of two dwarfed species is suggestive of isolation and resource depletion. Multiple dating techniques (OSL, ESR, U-series and 14C) revealed a complex geochemical history for this site. New age estimates place the fossil accumulation between 110 and 45 ka. © AAP.

UOW Authors


  •   Forbes, Matt S. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2006

Citation


  • Wells, R. T., Grün, R., Sullivan, J., Forbes, M. S., Dalgairns, S., Bestland, E. A., . . . Eggins, S. (2006). Late pleistocene megafauna site at black creek swamp, flinders chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Alcheringa, 30(SUPPL. 1), 367-387. doi:10.1080/03115510609506873

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-48549098353

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 367

End Page


  • 387

Volume


  • 30

Issue


  • SUPPL. 1