What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of sahul?

C. N. Johnson*, J. Alroy, N. J. Beeton, M. I. Bird, B. W. Brook, A. Cooper, R. Gillespie, S. Herrando-PÉrez, Z. Jacobs, G. H. Miller, G. J. Prideaux, R. G. Roberts, M. Rodríguez-Rey, F. SaltrÉ, C. S M Turney, C. J A Bradshaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20152399
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1824
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Archeology
  • Climate change
  • Human impacts
  • Palaeoecology
  • Prehistory
  • Quaternary

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    Johnson, C. N., Alroy, J., Beeton, N. J., Bird, M. I., Brook, B. W., Cooper, A., ... Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2016). What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of sahul? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1824), 1-8. [20152399]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2399