Evolution and extinction of the giant rhinoceros Elasmotherium sibiricum sheds light on late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions

  title={Evolution and extinction of the giant rhinoceros Elasmotherium sibiricum sheds light on late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions},
  author={Pavel A Kosintsev and Kieren J. Mitchell and Thibaut Devi{\`e}se and Johannes van der Plicht and Margot Kuitems and Ekaterina A. Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov and Thomas F.G. Higham and Daniel J. Comeskey and Chris S. M. Turney and Alan Cooper and Thijs van Kolfschoten and Anthony John Stuart and Adrian M. Lister},
  journal={Nature Ecology \& Evolution},
Understanding extinction events requires an unbiased record of the chronology and ecology of victims and survivors. The rhinoceros Elasmotherium sibiricum, known as the ‘Siberian unicorn’, was believed to have gone extinct around 200,000 years ago—well before the late Quaternary megafaunal extinction event. However, no absolute dating, genetic analysis or quantitative ecological assessment of this species has been undertaken. Here, we show, by accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of… 

Late Pleistocene paleoecology and phylogeography of woolly rhinoceroses

Late Pleistocene palaeoecology and phylogeography of woolly rhinoceroses

The genetic findings support the notion that environmental stability in Siberia had an impact on the paleoecology of woolly rhinoceroses in the region.

Tracking late-Quaternary extinctions in interior Alaska using megaherbivore bone remains and dung fungal spores

Abstract One major challenge in the study of late-Quaternary extinctions (LQEs) is providing better estimates of past megafauna abundance. To show how megaherbivore population size varied before and

A new rhinoceros clade from the Pleistocene of Asia sheds light on mammal dispersals to the Philippines

The phylogenetic results strongly suggest an island-hopping dispersal for Nesorhinus, from the Asian mainland towards Luzon via Taiwan by the Late Miocene or later, and Pleistocene dispersals for representatives of Rhinoceros.

Micro Methods for Megafauna: Novel Approaches to Late Quaternary Extinctions and Their Contributions to Faunal Conservation in the Anthropocene

This article highlights how developments in five methodologies (radiocarbon approaches, stable isotope analysis, ancient DNA, ancient proteomics, microscopy) have helped drive detailed analysis of specific megafaunal species, their particular ecological settings, and responses to new competitors or predators, climate change, and other external phenomena.

The woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) from Ondorkhaan, eastern Mongolia

The Mammoth Faunas, the famous cold‐adapted mammal assemblages, were distributed widely across northern Eurasia and North America during the Late Pleistocene. The now extinct woolly rhinoceros,

Compound-specific radiocarbon dating and mitochondrial DNA analysis of the Pleistocene hominin from Salkhit Mongolia

The Salkhit skull from Mongolia is date to approximately 34–35 thousand years ago and its mitochondrial genome is reconstructed, finding that it falls within modern human haplogroup N found across Eurasia.



Pleistocene to Holocene extinction dynamics in giant deer and woolly mammoth

It is shown that another spectacular megafaunal species, the giant deer or ‘Irish elk’, survived to around 6,900 radiocarbon yr bp (about 7,700 yr ago) in western Siberia—more than three millennia later than its previously accepted terminal date—and therefore, that the reasons for its ultimate demise are to be sought in Holocene not Pleistocene events.

Patterns of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions in Europe and northern Asia

This paper summarizes the results so far of our ‘Late Quaternary Megafaunal Extinctions’ project, focussing on an assessment of latest available dates for selected target species from Europe and

Determinants of loss of mammal species during the Late Quaternary ‘megafauna’ extinctions: life history and ecology, but not body size

  • C. Johnson
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2002
This analysis shows two general features of the selectivity of Late Quaternary mammal extinctions in Australia, Eurasia, the Americas and Madagascar that are consistent with extinctions being due to interaction with human populations.

Extinction chronology and palaeobiology of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus)

The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) was one of several spectacular megafaunal species that became extinct in northern Eurasia during the late Quaternary. Vast numbers of their remains have been recovered

Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions on the continents: a short review

  • A. Stuart
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2015
This paper provides an overview of the contentious issue of global megafaunal extinctions in the Late Quaternary. The main proposed causes are ‘overkill’, environmental change or a combination of

Synergistic roles of climate warming and human occupation in Patagonian megafaunal extinctions during the Last Deglaciation

Increased resolution provided by the Patagonian material reveals that the sequence of climate and extinction events in North and South America were temporally inverted, but in both cases, megafaunal extinctions did not occur until human presence and climate warming coincided.

Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover

The presence of many cryptic biotic transitions before the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary revealed by ancient DNA confirms the importance of climate change in megafaunal population extinctions and suggests that metapopulation structures necessary to survive such repeated and rapid climatic shifts were susceptible to human impacts.

A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America

The palaeogenomic and morphometric analyses support the idea that there was only a single species of middle to late Pleistocene NWSL equid, and a new genus, Haringtonhippus, is proposed for the sole species H. francisci.