Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction

  title={Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction},
  author={Russell D. Guthrie},
About 70% of North American large mammal species were lost at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. The causes of this extinction—the role of humans versus that of climate—have been the focus of much controversy. Horses have figured centrally in that debate, because equid species dominated North American late Pleistocene faunas in terms of abundance, geographical distribution, and species variety, yet none survived into the Holocene epoch. The timing of these equid regional extinctions and… Expand
Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability
Investigating the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming, reveals climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late pleistocene biodiversity. Expand
Life and extinction of megafauna in the ice-age Arctic
It follows that long-distance dispersal was crucial for the long-term persistence of megafaunal species living in the Arctic and implies that regional extinctions followed by population reestablishment from distant refugia were characteristic features of ice-age biogeography at high latitudes. Expand
The Terminal Pleistocene Extinctions in North America, Hypermorphic Evolution, and the Dynamic Equilibrium Model
Abstract The cause of megafaunal extinctions at the end of the last glaciation has been hotly debated during the last few decades, most recently at the global scale. In North America and elsewhereExpand
Ice-age megafauna in Arctic Alaska: extinction, invasion, survival
Abstract Radical restructuring of the terrestrial, large mammal fauna living in arctic Alaska occurred between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Steppe bison, horse, andExpand
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
Mammalian faunal dynamics in Late Pleistocene Alberta, Canada
Abstract As a conduit for the passage of faunal and human species into the New World, the much-abused concept of the so-called “ice-free corridor” has served its purpose. The corridor concept has hadExpand
Late Quaternary Bison diminution on the Great Plains of North America: evaluating the role of human hunting versus climate change
Body size changes of Bison and mortality age structure data document the effects of climate-driven environmental change and human hunting pressure on large mammals in North America. Morphometric andExpand
New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions
Many new radiocarbon dates are added to those already published on late Pleistocene fossils from Alaska and the Yukon Territory and show previously unrecognized patterns, indicating a radical ecological sorting during a uniquely forage-rich transitional period, affecting all large mammals, including humans. Expand
Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius
To examine the role of pre-LGM population changes in shaping the genetic structure of an extinct species, woolly mammoths in western Beringia and across its range are analyzed and genetic signatures of a range expansion of mammoths after the last interglacial, and then an extended period during which demographic inference indicates no population-size increase are identified. Expand
Humans and climate change drove the Holocene decline of the brown bear
The model reveals that, despite the broad climatic niche of the brown bear, increasing winter temperatures contributed substantially to its Holocene decline — both directly by reducing the species’ reproductive rate and indirectly by facilitating human land use. Expand


Late quaternary vertebrates and the opening of the ice-free corridor, with special reference to the genusbison
Abstract The ice-free iorridor opened physically in early deglaciation, after 14 ka BP, but at first was not necessarily passable in an ecological sense. One way to gauge the timing of itsExpand
The latest woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius Blumenbach) in Europe and Asia: a review of the current evidence
Abstract During the Last Cold Stage, woolly mammoths ranged very widely across Northern Eurasia into North America, but then disappeared as part of the global phenomenon of Late Quaternary megafaunalExpand
Natural change and human impact in Madagascar
A miniature continent long isolated from the African mainland, the island of Madagascar evolved a biota that remains one of the most varied of any environment in the world. Following the arrival ofExpand
Full-glacial upland tundra vegetation preserved under tephra in the Beringia National Park, Seward Peninsula, Alaska
The nature of the full-glacial vegetation of Beringia has been the subject of a great deal of investigation and debate. Here we present a reconstruction of an intact example of the full-glacialExpand
A Multispecies Overkill Simulation of the End-Pleistocene Megafaunal Mass Extinction
  • J. Alroy
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Science
  • 2001
A computer simulation of North American end-Pleistocene human and large herbivore population dynamics correctly predicts the extinction or survival of 32 out of 41 prey species. Slow human populationExpand
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
Late quaternary pollen records from the Kobuk and Noatak river drainages, northwestern Alaska
Abstract Pollen diagrams from Joe and Niliq Lakes date to ca. 28,000 and 14,000 yr B.P., respectively. Mesic shurb tundra grew near Joe Lake ca. 28,000 to 26,000 yr B.P. with local PopulusExpand
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
Tanana River valley archaeology circa 14,000 to 9000 B.P.
The early Tanana River valley sites are divided into two broad periods. The earliest lithic assemblages, 14,000 to 13,000 calibrated years B.P., at Healy Lake (Chindadn complex) and Swan Point (EastExpand
Climatic changes in areas adjacent to the North Atlantic during the last glacial-interglacial transition (14-9 ka BP): a contribution to IGCP-253
This paper presents a summary of the evidence for climatic changes during the last glacial-interglacial transition (14-9 ka BP) in land areas adjacent to the North Atlantic. It is a synthesis of theExpand