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Type: Journal article
Title: And then there were none?
Author: Roberts, R.
Brook, B.
Citation: Science, 2010; 327(5964):420-422
Publisher: Amer Assoc Advancement Science
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0036-8075
Statement of
Richard G. Roberts and Barry W. Brook
Abstract: Giant marsupials, reptiles, and flightless birds once inhabited Australia (see the first figure). But 23 of the 24 genera of these megafauna disappeared in the late Pleistocene (~125 to ~12 thousand years ago). Most Australian megafauna appear to have survived until 51 to 40 thousand years ago, with human impact by hunting or vegetation change proposed as the extinction drivers (1–4). Yet, one site has stood out as an anomaly: Cuddie Springs in interior New South Wales. Persistent claims have been made that this site contains megafauna fossils associated with stone tools in sediments deposited 40 to 30 thousand years ago (5–7), thus indicating prolonged overlap between people and megafauna. These claims have been challenged (2, 8) based on concerns about possible reworking of fossils from older deposits. To resolve this conundrum, Grün et al. (9) have now directly dated the fossils themselves. The results provide no evidence for the late survival of megafauna at the site.
Keywords: Animals; Birds; Carnivora; Marsupialia; Lizards; Time; Fossils; New South Wales; Extinction, Biological
Rights: © 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.
RMID: 0020100124
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185517
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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