By Gary Haynes
The quantity comprises summaries of evidence, theories, and unsolved difficulties relating the unexplained extinction of dozens of genera of generally huge terrestrial mammals, which happened ca. 13,000 calendar years in the past in North the United States and approximately 1,000 years later in South the USA. one other both mysterious wave of extinctions affected huge Caribbean islands round 5,000 years in the past. The coupling of those extinctions with the earliest visual appeal of humans has ended in the advice that foraging people are responsible, even if significant climatic shifts have been additionally happening within the Americas in the course of many of the extinctions. The final released quantity with related (but no longer exact) issues -- Extinctions in close to Time -- seemed in 1999; due to the fact that then loads of leading edge, fascinating new learn has been performed yet has no longer but been compiled and summarized. assorted chapters during this quantity offer in-depth resumés of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South the US, the prospective insights into animal ecology supplied by means of reviews of sturdy isotopes and anatomical/physiological features similar to development increments in immense and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic study approximately large-mammal biology, the functions of relationship how you can the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies relating human searching of huge mammals.
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Additional info for American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene
2) These islands were, in fact, attached to the northern and southern edges, respectively, of Beringia prior to inundation of the land bridge about 10,500 BP (12,500 cal bp). Therefore, the founders of these populations, unlike their descendants, had not been protected from human predators (or mainland climate and vegetation changes) by isolation. So, what accounts for their survival? As Guthrie (2004) notes, coastally-oriented human hunters would surely have encountered the ancestors of the Pribilof mammoths and would have decimated them.
Mammoths seem to have died out later (Guthrie, 2006) (the last date is 11,500 ± 160 BP). Ostensible mammoth tracks are dated to ca. 11,600 BP, and ivory used by humans at the Broken Mammoth site was dated to 11,540 ± 140 BP – one of the very few indications of human-mammoth co-existence in eastern Beringia. Recently, Guthrie (2006) has presented a set of radiocarbon dates that appear to document a surge of bison population after 13,500 BP, followed by an explosive expansion of elk (wapiti) at ca.
In at least some regions where megafauna disappeared, vegetation changes seem to have been minor, and their former dietary staples did not disappear. 4. , 2003]). 5. The megafaunal extinction seems slightly later in South America than farther north, even though gradual warming began much earlier there than in the north. , 2007a) as the cause of South American extinctions. Caribbean Extinctions Finally, a southward glance at the Caribbean islands provides a nice analog to the late survival of mammoths on the northern island remnants of Beringia.