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By Gary (Ed.) Haynes, Gary Haynes

The amount includes summaries of proof, theories, and unsolved difficulties bearing on the unexplained extinction of dozens of genera of normally 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 people has ended in the recommendation that foraging people are guilty, even though significant climatic shifts have been additionally happening within the Americas in the course of the various extinctions. The final released quantity with related (but no longer exact) topics -- Extinctions in close to Time -- seemed in 1999; in view that then loads of cutting edge, fascinating new examine has been performed yet has no longer but been compiled and summarized. diversified chapters during this quantity offer in-depth resum?s of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South the USA, the prospective insights into animal ecology supplied via reports of good isotopes and anatomical/physiological features resembling development increments in huge and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic study approximately large-mammal biology, the purposes of relationship how to the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies relating human searching of huge mammals.

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Additional resources for American Megafaunal Extinctions at the End of the Pleistocene (Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology)

Sample text

The high spore densities at that moment (11,000 BP) are comparable to those seen in ponds located beside 19th–20th-century livestock corrals (Davis, 1987). Two explanations may be considered for this extraordinary frequency: (1) There is no indication of a gradual decline of megaherbivores during the Late Glacial. Rather, their population and range seem to have been increasing at that time, as Agenbroad (1984, 2005) and Ferring (2001) have suggested; (2) The extraordinary concentration of fungal spores (and by inference, megaherbivore dung) may be an index of an unprecedented aggregation of animals around standing water, in response to the hypothesized “Clovis drought” of the late Allerød.

The dung and charcoal dates together suggest that the sloths disappeared here around 10,300 BP (somewhere in the range from ca. 11,900 to 12,400 cal bp). Terminal dates for Mylodon darwinii at the Cueva del Milodon in Chile are broadly similar, although the large sigmas preclude a precise estimate: 10,200 ± 400, 10,400 ± 330, 10,575 ± 400 BP. Several aspects of the South American record should be stressed: 1. A previous invasion by North American fauna after the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama ca.

In each case, there is a clear stratigraphic boundary – iridium-rich layers in the case of the K/T impact, and in the late Pleistocene case, the black mats in the Southwest and Southern Plains (Haynes, 1991). The black mats probably mark the onset of the regional equivalent of the Younger Dryas (Fiedel, 1999a). , 1998), and thus imply a higher water table, increased precipitation, and reduced evaporation resulting in relatively wet and cold conditions. Clovis artifacts and mammoth bones occur just beneath the black mats, but never above them; only Folsom points and bison are found above the mats, which date to about 10,700 BP.

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