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Ecosystem collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a human role in megafaunal extinction

Miller, Gifford Hubbs; Fogel, Marilyn L; Magee, John; Gagan, Michael; Clarke, Simon; Johnson, Beverley J.


Most of Australia's largest mammals became extinct 50,000 to 45,000 years ago, shortly after humans colonized the continent. Without exceptional climate change at that time, a human cause is inferred, but a mechanism remains elusive. A 140,000-year record of dietary δ13C documents a permanent reduction in food sources available to the Australian emu, beginning about the time of human colonization; a change replicated at three widely separated sites and in the marsupial wombat. We speculate that...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2005
Type: Journal article
Source: Science
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111288


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