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What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul?


Johnson, CN and Alroy, J and Beeton, NJ and Bird, MI and Brook, BW and Cooper, A and Gillespie, R and Herrando-Perez, S and Jacobs, Z and Miller, GH and Prideaux, GJ and Roberts, RG and Rodriguez-Rey, M and Saltre, F and Turney, CSM and Bradshaw, CJA, What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul?, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283, (1824) pp. 1-8. ISSN 0962-8452 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.2399


During the Pleistocene, Australia and New Guinea supported a rich assemblage of large vertebrates. Why these animals disappeared has been debated for more than a century and remains controversial. Previous synthetic reviews of this problem have typically focused heavily on particular types of evidence, such as the dating of extinction and human arrival, and have frequently ignored uncertainties and biases that can lead to misinterpretation of this evidence. Here, we review diverse evidence bearing on this issue and conclude that, although many knowledge gaps remain, multiple independent lines of evidence point to direct human impact as the most likely cause of extinction.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:quaternary, prehistory, palaeoecology, archeology, human impacts, climate change
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Palaeoecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Beeton, NJ (Dr Nicholas Beeton)
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:112315
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-11-03
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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