Clovis Hunting and Large Mammal Extinction: A Critical Review of the Evidence

  title={Clovis Hunting and Large Mammal Extinction: A Critical Review of the Evidence},
  author={Donald K. Grayson and David J. Meltzer},
  journal={Journal of World Prehistory},
The North American archaeological phenomenon known as Clovis is famous for the fact that a number of sites that contain diagnostic Clovis artifacts also contain the remains of mammoth and perhaps other extinct genera. In the past, this has led many to assume that Clovis subsistence adaptations were organized around large, now-extinct mammals. It has also seemed to support the argument that the colonization of the Americas by hunters about 11,500 years ago caused the extinction, either directly… 

Revisiting Paleoindian exploitation of extinct North American mammals

Pleistocene Overkill and North American Mammalian Extinctions

Clovis groups in Late Pleistocene North America occasionally hunted several now extinct large mammals. But whether their hunting drove 37 genera of animals to extinction has been disputed, largely

Unraveling the consequences of the terminal Pleistocene megafauna extinction on mammal community assembly

This work reconstructs mammal associations and body size distributions over time using tightly constrained temporal windows spanning full glacial to modern time periods and comprehensive faunal lists, and reveals interesting temporal patterns in the disassociation or co-occurrence of species through the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene.

Clovis at the end of the world

  • D. J. Meltzer
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2014
In PNAS, Sanchez et al. (2) contend that a third genus of proboscidean (elephants and their near relatives), the gomphothere Cuvieronius, should be added to the small list of large mammals pursued by Clovis hunters.

The Associational Critique of Quaternary Overkill and why it is Largely Irrelevant to the Extinction Debate

Abstract The overkill hypothesis has been criticized using a simple observation–with the exception of New Zealand, there is little evidence for human hunting of extinct Quaternary faunas. We explore

The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene

  • S. TurveySusanne A. Fritz
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2011
It is found that Holocene extinctions have been phylogenetically and spatially concentrated in specific taxa and geographical regions, which are often not congruent with those disproportionately at risk today.

The Late Quaternary biogeographic histories of some Great Basin mammals (western USA)




Late Pleistocene mammalian extinctions in North America: Taxonomy, chronology, and explanations

Toward the end of the Pleistocene, North America lost some 35 genera of mammals. It has long been assumed that all or virtually all of the extinctions occurred between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago,

An Analysis of the Chronology of Late Pleistocene Mammalian Extinctions in North America

  • D. Grayson
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Quaternary Research
  • 1987

The Archaeological Record of Human Impacts on Animal Populations

The history of this famous argument suggests that it is better seen as a statement of faith about the past rather than as an appeal to reason, and burgeoning knowledge of past human impacts on animals has important implications for the conservation biology of the future.


  • P. Martin
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1982

Clocking the First Americans

The antiquity of the first Americans is one of the most controversial issues in American archaeology, and it must be resolved to understand fully the adaptive radiation of Homo sapiens into the New

Extinction and the zoogeography of West Indian land mammals

The timing and causes of extinctions of West Indian land mammals during three time intervals covering the last 20000 years (late Pleistocene and early Holocene, Amerindian, and post-Columbian) are

Archaeological associations with extinct pleistocene mammals in North America

Pleistocene Overkill and the Associational Critique

Early Man in America

A FURTHER detailed research report on the discoveries of flint implements said to be associated with fossil remains of Pleistocene mammals in Nebraska, to which we referred in our issue for July 16,