An arid-adapted middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from south-central Australia

  title={An arid-adapted middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from south-central Australia},
  author={Gavin J. Prideaux and John A. Long and Linda K. Ayliffe and John C. Hellstrom and Brad J. Pillans and Walter E. Boles and Mark N. Hutchinson and Richard G. Roberts and Matthew L. Cupper and Lee J. Arnold and Paul Devine and Natalie M. Warburton},
How well the ecology, zoogeography and evolution of modern biotas is understood depends substantially on knowledge of the Pleistocene. Australia has one of the most distinctive, but least understood, Pleistocene faunas. Records from the western half of the continent are especially rare. Here we report on a diverse and exceptionally well preserved middle Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage from caves beneath the arid, treeless Nullarbor plain of south-central Australia. Many taxa are represented… 

Dietary responses of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea) megafauna to climate and environmental change

Abstract. Throughout the late Quaternary, the Sahul (Pleistocene Australia—New Guinea) vertebrate fauna was dominated by a diversity of large mammals, birds, and reptiles, commonly referred to as

Aridity, faunal adaptations and Australian Late Pleistocene extinctions

Abstract The faunal extinctions of the Late Pleistocene saw the disappearance of a suite of giant marsupials, birds and reptiles from the Australian landscape. Attempts to explain these extinctions

Herpetofaunal Diversity Changes with Climate: Evidence from the Quaternary of McEachern's Deathtrap Cave, Southeastern Australia

ABSTRACT The Quaternary Period is characterized by dramatic global climatic changes. Quaternary fossil deposits, which can offer excellent stratigraphic resolution, provide a unique opportunity to

Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia

An exceptional faunal succession from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia is reported, which shows persistence of a diverse mammal community for at least 100 ka leading up to the earliest regional evidence of humans at 49 ka.

Three terrestrial Pleistocene coucals (Centropus: Cuculidae) from southern Australia: biogeographical and ecological significance

The phylogenetic analysis indicates a possible close relationship between one of the Nullarbor species and extant Centropus violaceus from the Bismarck Archipelago, and the presence of three coucals in southern Australia markedly extends the geographical range of the genus from tropical Australia into southern temperate regions.

Why Australasian vertebrate animals are so unique - A palaeontological perspective.

  • J. Long
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    General and comparative endocrinology
  • 2017

Extinction implications of a chenopod browse diet for a giant Pleistocene kangaroo

Craniodental morphology, stable-isotopic, and dental microwear data are combined to reveal that the largest-ever kangaroo, Procoptodon goliah, was a chenopod browse specialist, which may have had a preference for Atriplex (saltbushes), one of a few dicots using the C4 photosynthetic pathway.

Quaternary record of aridity and mean annual precipitation based on δ15N in ratite and dromornithid eggshells from Lake Eyre, Australia

The Dromaius eggshell record shows a significant decrease in δ13C values prior to the extinction, whereas the Genyornis record does not, which suggests that a significant change in vegetation surrounding Lake Eyre occurred prior to an increase in local aridity.



Mammalian responses to Pleistocene climate change in southeastern Australia

Resolving faunal responses to Pleistocene climate change is vital for differentiating human impacts from other drivers of ecological change. While 90% of Australia's large mammals were extinct by ca.

Extinctions of herbivorous mammals in the late Pleistocene of Australia in relation to their feeding ecology: No evidence for environmental change as cause of extinction

It is shown that in both browsers and grazers the probability of extinction was very strongly related to body mass, and the body mass at which extinction became likely was similar in the two groups.

Ecosystem Collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a Human Role in Megafaunal Extinction

A 140,000-year record of dietary δ13C documents a permanent reduction in food sources available to the Australian emu, beginning about the time of human colonization; a change replicated at three widely separated sites and in the marsupial wombat.

Spatial Response of Mammals to Late Quaternary Environmental Fluctuations

Analyses of fossil mammal faunas from 2945 localities in the United States demonstrate that the geographic ranges of individual species shifted at different times, in different directions, and at

Systematics and Evolution of the Sthenurine Kangaroos

Compelling evidence suggests a paraphyletic origin for the Sthenurinae from within the late Oligocene to middle Miocene subfamily Bulungamayinae, and a new tribe (Simosthenurini) is raised to include the three short-faced genera: Archaeosimos gen. nov., Simosthenurus and Procoptodon.


This historic publication provides an account of every species of native mammals known to have existed in Australia since European settlement and every introduced species now living in a wild state.

New Ages for the Last Australian Megafauna: Continent-Wide Extinction About 46,000 Years Ago

This work reports burial ages for megafauna from 28 sites and infer extinction across the continent around 46,400 years ago, ruling out extreme aridity at the Last Glacial Maximum as the cause of extinction, but not other climatic impacts; a "blitzkrieg" model of human-induced extinction; or an extended period of anthropogenic ecosystem disruption.

The phytogeography of the Australian region.

The Australian phytogeographic region is defined as including the Australian mainland and Tasmania, and the MacPherson–Macleay Overlap where the Tropical and Temperate Zones coincide, and three interzone areas have been defined where special circumstances prevent the drawing of zonal boundaries.