Prehistoric Sloth Extinctions in Cuba: Implications of a New “Last” Appearance Date

  title={Prehistoric Sloth Extinctions in Cuba: Implications of a New “Last” Appearance Date},
  author={Ross D.E. Macphee and Manuel. Iturralde-Vinent and Osvaldo Jim{\'e}nez V{\'a}zquez},
Abstract.— We report the youngest radiocarbon determination so far for an identified species of Antillean sloth, 4190 ± 40 yr BP, based on a molariform of Megalocnus rodens from the locality of Solapa de Silex, Lomas de Cacahual, prov. La Habana, Cuba. Together with other recently reported age estimates, the evidence is now secure that at least some Antillean sloth species survived until ca. 4200 yr BP, or approximately 1000 yr later than the first plausible evidence for the presence of… Expand
Assessing the role of humans in Greater Antillean land vertebrate extinctions: New insights from Cuba
Abstract The Caribbean archipelago is a hotspot of biodiversity characterized by a high rate of extinction. Recent studies have examined these losses, but the causes of the Antillean Late QuaternaryExpand
The role of humans on Antillean land vertebrate extinctions: new insights from Cuba
The results indicate that losses of Cuba’s native fauna occurred in three waves: one during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, a second during the middleHolocene, and a thirdOne during the last 2 ka, coinciding with the arrival of agroceramists and the early Europeans. Expand
El cambio climático y la extinción de la faunavertebrada del cuaternario cubano
New considerations on the existence of a natural process of warming in the earth atmosphere from the last 15 000 years before present (BP) and the role of human society as a factor reinforcing theseExpand
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, largelyExpand
Holocene underkill
  • D. Grayson
  • Geography, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2008
This issue of PNAS addresses an issue that has been with us, in one way or another, for some 200 years, by addressing the reality of vertebrate extinction established by French paleontologist Georges Cuvier around the year 1800. Expand
Late Holocene Fauna from a Cave Deposit in Western Cuba: post-Columbian occurrence of the Vampire Bat Desmodus rotundus (Phyllostomidae: Desmodontinae)
A fossil microvertebrate fauna from a late Holocene cave deposit in northwestern Cuba provides new chronological data for the understanding of the post-Pleistocene survival of some of Cuba's rarest extinct bats and a post-Columbian record of Desmodus rotundus. Expand
The protracted Holocene extinction of California's flightless sea duck (Chendytes lawi) and its implications for the Pleistocene overkill hypothesis
Although the extinction of Chendytes clearly resulted from human overhunting, its demise raises questions about the Pleistocene overkill model, which suggests that megafauna were driven to extinction in a blitzkrieg fashion by Native Americans ≈13,000 years ago. Expand
Late Holocene land vertebrate fauna from Cueva de los Nesofontes, Western Cuba: Stratigraphy, chronology, diversity, and paleoecology
Here we report a late Holocene fossil-rich cave deposit from Cueva de los Nesofontes, Mayabeque Province, Cuba. The deposit’s formation and its fauna were studied through a multidisciplinary approachExpand
Anthropogenic Extinction Dominates Holocene Declines of West Indian Mammals
The extensive postglacial mammal losses in the West Indies provide an opportunity to evaluate extinction dynamics, but limited data have hindered our ability to test hypotheses. Here, we analyze theExpand
Insulae infortunatae: Establishing a Chronology for Late Quaternary Mammal Extinctions in the West Indies
This volume is devoted to recent advances in understanding megafaunal extinctions in the New World during the LQ (for this and all other abbreviations used in this paper, see Table 9.1). A chapter onExpand


Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths on continents and islands.
This asynchronous situation is not compatible with glacial-interglacial climate change forcing these extinctions, especially given the great elevational, latitudinal, and longitudinal variation of the sloth-bearing continental sites. Expand
Dating of Modified Femora of Extinct Dwarf Hippopotamus from Southern Madagascar : Implications for Constraining Human Colonization and Vertebrate Extinction Events
Two significant events in the late Holocene history of Madagascar were (a) the arrival of people, and (b) the loss of nearly two dozen species of land vertebrates in the socalled “subfossilExpand
A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar.
Dating of the "subfossil" megafauna, including pygmy hippos, elephant birds, giant tortoises, and large lemurs, demonstrates that most if not all the extinct taxa were still present on the island when humans arrived. Expand
Rapid extinction of the moas (Aves: Dinornithiformes): model, test, and implications.
A Leslie matrix population model supported by carbon-14 dating of early occupation layers lacking moa remains suggests that human hunting and habitat destruction drove the 11 species of moa toExpand
Rapid prehistoric extinction of iguanas and birds in Polynesia
The geologically instantaneous prehistoric collapse of Lifuka's vertebrate community contrasts with the much longer periods of faunal depletion on some other islands, thus showing that the elapse time between human arrival and major extinction events was highly variable on oceanic islands as well as on continents. Expand
Radiocarbon dating of extinct fauna in the Americas recovered from tar pits
We have obtained radiocarbon dates by accelerator mass spectrometry on bones of extinct large mammals from tar pits. Results on some samples of Glyptodon and Holmesina (extinct large mammals similarExpand
Insulae infortunatae: Establishing a Chronology for Late Quaternary Mammal Extinctions in the West Indies
This volume is devoted to recent advances in understanding megafaunal extinctions in the New World during the LQ (for this and all other abbreviations used in this paper, see Table 9.1). A chapter onExpand
Prehistoric Extinctions on Islands and Continents
Geological extinction of a continental megafauna of Holarctic mammoths, American ground sloths, and Australian diprotodonts, to name a few mammalian examples, rivals pulsing ice sheets andExpand
Evidence of early butchery of giant lemurs in Madagascar.
We report here definitive evidence of butchery, most probably associated with hunting, of giant extinct lemurs by early human settlers in Madagascar. Specimens of Palaeopropithecus ingens andExpand
Holocene Charcoal Stratigraphy from Laguna Tortuguero, Puerto Rico, and the Timing of Human Arrival on the Island
An 8 m sediment core from Laguna Tortuguero, Puerto Rico, provides a 7000 calendar year history of fire occurrence and sedimentation on the island's north coast. After c. 5300 cal-BP, microscopicExpand