New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions

  title={New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions},
  author={Russell D. Guthrie},
Drastic ecological restructuring, species redistribution and extinctions mark the Pleistocene–Holocene transition, but an insufficiency of numbers of well-dated large mammal fossils from this transition have impeded progress in understanding the various causative links. Here I add many new radiocarbon dates to those already published on late Pleistocene fossils from Alaska and the Yukon Territory (AK–YT) and show previously unrecognized patterns. Species that survived the Pleistocene, for… Expand
Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna.
This study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical. Expand
Patterns of faunal extinction and paleoclimatic change from mid-Holocene mammoth and polar bear remains, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
Abstract Cave, a lava tube cave on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, has recently produced a mid-Holocene vertebrate faunal assemblage including woolly mammoth, polar bear, caribou, and Arctic fox.Expand
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Abstract Proposed explanations for the terminal Pleistocene large mammal extinction event in North America include climate warming and/or cooling, overhunting by early humans, disease, and bolideExpand
A global perspective on the spatiotemporal pattern of the Late Pleistocene human and woolly mammoth radiocarbon record
Abstract We examine the temporal and geographic distribution of a worldwide sample of human and woolly mammoth radiocarbon ages (40–11,500 radiocarbon years BP) in order to examine how fluctuationsExpand
Timing of megafaunal extinction in the late Late Pleistocene on the Japanese Archipelago
Abstract In the late Late Pleistocene (lLP), Japanese terrestrial large mammals consisted of two main groups; the Palaeoloxodon-Sinomegaceroides complex and the mammoth fauna. The former inhabitedExpand
Moose genomes reveal past glacial demography and the origin of modern lineages
A de-novo genome for the European moose is assembled and analysed and found that moose demographic history was greatly influenced by glacial cycles, with demographic responses to the Pleistocene/Holocene transition similar to other temperate ungulates. Expand
Geographic and temporal trends in proboscidean and human radiocarbon histories during the late Pleistocene
Abstract The causes of large animal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene remain a hotly debated topic focused primarily on the effects of human over hunting and climate change. Here we examineExpand
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. Expand
Quaternary Extinctions and Their Link to Climate Change
Millennia before the modern biodiversity crisis—a worldwide event being driven by the multiple impacts of anthropogenic global change—a mass extinction of large-bodied fauna occurred. After a millionExpand
Climate‐driven ecological stability as a globally shared cause of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions: the Plaids and Stripes Hypothesis
An integrative hypothesis is asserted that an underlying cause of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions was a fundamental shift in the spatio‐temporal fabric of ecosystems worldwide, triggered by the loss of the millennial‐scale climate fluctuations that were characteristic of the ice age but ceased approximately 11700 years ago on most continents. Expand


Radiocarbon chronologies and extinction dynamics of the Late Quaternary mammalian megafauna of the Taimyr Peninsula, Russian Federation
Abstract This paper presents 75 new radiocarbon dates based on late Quaternary mammal remains recovered from eastern Taimyr Peninsula and adjacent parts of the northern Siberian lowlands, RussianExpand
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. Expand
New insights into the Weichselian environment and climate of the East Siberian Arctic, derived from fossil insects, plants, and mammals
Multidisciplinary study of a key section on the Laptev Sea Coast (Bykovsky Peninsula, east Lena Delta) in 1998–2001 provides the most complete record of Middle and Late Weichselian environments inExpand
Rise and Fall of the Beringian Steppe Bison
A detailed genetic history of bison throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs is reconstructed using ancient DNA and Bayesian techniques to reconstruct a large diverse population living throughout Beringia until around 37,000 years before the present, when the population's genetic diversity began to decline dramatically. Expand
Assessing the Causes of Late Pleistocene Extinctions on the Continents
Evidence 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, and suggests that the intersection of human impacts with pronounced climatic change drove the precise timing and geography of extinction in the Northern Hemisphere. Expand
Human dispersal into interior Alaska: antecedent conditions, mode of colonization, and adaptations
Abstract In spite of more than a half-century of exploration, no definitive evidence has yet come to light for human occupation in eastern Beringia preceding 12,000 yr BP. The oldest dates — betweenExpand
Evolution, Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World: A Molecular Perspective
It is shown that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage, and the data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological grounds. Expand
Dated wood from Alaska and the Yukon: Implications for forest refugia in Beringia
Abstract Postulations on the existence of forest refugia in parts of Beringia during the last glacial have been, in large part, based on ambiguous evidence. Existing data on radiocarbon-dated andExpand
Late Quaternary Lacustrine Pollen Records from Southwestern Beringia
Sediment cores from three lakes in the Upper Kolyma region, northeast Russia, provide the first well-dated continuous record of late Quaternary vegetation change from far southwestern Beringia. TheExpand
Steppe-Tundra Transition: A Herbivore-Driven Biome Shift at the End of the Pleistocene
Results indicate that mammalian grazers have a sufficiently large effect on vegetation and soil moisture that their extinction could have contributed substantially to the shift from predominance of steppe to tundra at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Expand