Title

Lack of chronological support for stepwise prehuman extinctions of Australian megafauna

RIS ID

82958

Publication Details

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 National Academy of Sciences, 110 (36), E3368-E3368.

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.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1309226110