Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction

  title={Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction},
  author={R. Dale Guthrie},
About 70% of North American large mammal species were lost at the end of the Pleistocene epoch1. The causes of this extinction—the role of humans versus that of climate—have been the focus of much controversy1,2,3,4,5,6. 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… Expand
Range sizes and shifts of North American Pleistocene mammals are not consistent with a climatic explanation for extinction
Abstract The cause of the terminal Pleistocene extinctions in North America is debated but is most commonly ascribed to climate change or anthropogenic overkill. Based on contemporary extinctionExpand
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
Eurasian large mammal dynamics in response to changing environments during the Late Neogene
Short and long term environmental changes, variations in climate and vegetation during the late Neogene shaped the geographical ranges of large terrestrial mammals by allowing origination,Expand
Climate effects on mammalian body size and grassland composition inferred from late Quaternary grazers in the Great Plains of North America
Several mammalian taxa exhibited a diminution during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon: (1) human hunting and (2) climate change alongExpand
Radiocarbon evidence of mid-Holocene mammoths stranded on an Alaskan Bering Sea island
A large radiocarbon dating project of Alaskan mammoth fossils is addressed by including mammoth specimens from Bering Sea islands known to have formed during the end-Pleistocene sea transgression, making it possible to reconstruct how mammoths became stranded in the Pribilofs and why this apparently did not happen on otherAlaskan Beringsea islands. Expand
Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans
It is shown that climate has been a major driver of population change over the past 50,000 years, however, each species responds differently to the effects of climatic shifts, habitat redistribution and human encroachment. Expand
Ecological correlates of range shifts of Late Pleistocene mammals
There was no difference in range shifts between victims and survivors of the megafaunal extinction and the results indicate that when trying to predict species range shifts in the future, body size, lifespan and the topographic relief of the landscape should be taken into account. Expand
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 andExpand
Climate change, not human population growth, correlates with Late Quaternary megafauna declines in North America
Radiocarbon-dated Event-Count (REC) Modelling is employed to test whether declines in North American megafauna species could be best explained by climate changes, increases in human population densities, or both, using the largest available database ofmegafauna and human radiocarbon dates. Expand
Characteristics of Pleistocene megafauna extinctions in Southeast Asia
The extinction of large-bodied taxa from the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia is examined. Although the chronological resolution of these extinctions is poor, and number of excavations in the regionExpand