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Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions


Brook, BW and Bowman, DMJS, Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions, PNAS, 99, (23) pp. 14624-14627. ISSN 0027-8424 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.232126899


Understanding of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions has been advanced recently by the application of simulation models and new developments in geochronological dating. Together these have been used to posit a rapid demise of megafauna due to over-hunting by invading humans. However, we demonstrate that the results of these extinction models are highly sensitive to implicit assumptions concerning the degree of prey naivety to human hunters. In addition, we show that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well before the end of the last Ice Age (unlike the North American situation), estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and megafauna remain imprecise. Contrary to recent claims, the existing data do not prove the "blitzkrieg" model of overkill.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Other biological sciences
Research Field:Global change biology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:46544
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:77
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2007-11-14
Last Modified:2011-08-25

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