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Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions

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Brook, BW and Bowman, DMJS (2002) Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions. PNAS - National Academy of Sciences of the United States. Proceedings, 99 (23). pp. 14624-14627. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

Understanding of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions has been advanced recently by the application of simulation models and new developments in geochronological dating. Together these have been used to posit a rapid demise of megafauna due to over-hunting by invading humans. However, we demonstrate that the results of these extinction models are highly sensitive to implicit assumptions concerning the degree of prey naivety to human hunters. In addition, we show that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well before the end of the last Ice Age (unlike the North American situation), estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and megafauna remain imprecise. Contrary to recent claims, the existing data do not prove the ‘‘blitzkrieg’’ model of overkill.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, Northern Territory University, Darwin 0909, Northern Territory, Australia
Journal or Publication Title: PNAS - National Academy of Sciences of the United States. Proceedings
Page Range: pp. 14624-14627
ISSN: 0027-8424
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1073/pnas.232126899
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2007 23:41
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:24
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/2427
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