Assessing the Causes of Late Pleistocene Extinctions on the Continents

  title={Assessing the Causes of Late Pleistocene Extinctions on the Continents},
  author={Anthony D Barnosky and Paul L. Koch and Robert S. Feranec and Scott L. Wing and Alan B. Shabel},
  pages={70 - 75}
One of the great debates about extinction is whether humans or climatic change caused the demise of the Pleistocene megafauna. Evidence from paleontology, climatology, archaeology, and ecology now supports the idea that humans contributed to extinction on some continents, but human hunting was not solely responsible for the pattern of extinction everywhere. Instead, evidence suggests that the intersection of human impacts with pronounced climatic change drove the precise timing and geography of… 
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Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions
  • B. Brook, D. Bowman
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
It is demonstrated that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well before the end of the last Ice Age, estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and megafauna remain imprecise, and the existing data do not prove the “blitzkrieg” model of overkill.
Exceptional record of mid-Pleistocene vertebrates helps differentiate climatic from anthropogenic ecosystem perturbations.
  • A. Barnosky, C. Bell, Alan B. Shabel
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2004
It is concluded that climatic warming primarily affected mammals of lower trophic and size categories, in contrast to documented human impacts on higher tropho-size categories historically.
Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction
It is shown that horses underwent a rapid decline in body size before extinction, and it is proposed that the size decline and subsequent regional extinction at 12,500 radiocarbon years before present are best attributed to a coincident climatic/vegetational shift.
Self‐organised instability and megafaunal extinctions in Australia
It is proposed that an increase in immigration of fauna from south-east Asia and speciation of the existing local fauna in response to the increasing aridity of the Pliocene led the faunal assemblage of Australia to a level of self-organised instability, as defined by Sole et al. (2002a).
New Ages for the Last Australian Megafauna: Continent-Wide Extinction About 46,000 Years Ago
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  • A. Stuart
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 1991
Although a global phenomenon, late Pleistocene extinctions were most severe in North America, South America and Australia, and moderate in northern Eurasia (Europe plus Soviet Asia), in Africa, where nearly all of the late Pleistsocene ‘megafauna’ survives to the present day, losses were slight.
Megafaunal extinction in the late Quaternary and the global overkill hypothesis
The global blitzkrieg hypothesis explains differential rates of megafaunal extinction between the world's landmasses in the late Quaternary based on a proposed leap in predation efficiency enjoyed by colonising societies based on simplistic interpretations of complex biogeographicat and anthropological phenomena.
Dynamics of Pleistocene Population Extinctions in Beringian Brown Bears
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Extinctions in near time : causes, contexts, and consequences
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