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

Citation

David, B and Arnold, LJ and Delannoy, JJ and Freslov, J and Urwin, C and Petchey, F and McDowell, MC and Mullett, R and Mialanes, J and Wood, R and Crouch, J and Berthet, J and Wong, VNL and Green, H and Hellstrom, J, and the GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Late survival of megafauna refuted for Cloggs Cave, SE Australia: Implications for the Australian Late Pleistocene megafauna extinction debate, Quaternary Science Reviews, 253 Article 106781. ISSN 0277-3791 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106781

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 date 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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:megafauna, Late Pleistocene extinctions, Cloggs cave, landscape change, radiocarbon dating, OSL dating
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Speciation and extinction
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:McDowell, MC (Dr Matthew McDowell)
ID Code:144624
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-05-31
Last Modified:2021-09-22
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