American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the by Gary Haynes

By Gary Haynes

The quantity includes summaries of proof, theories, and unsolved difficulties relating 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 United States. 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 resulted in the advice that foraging people are responsible, even though significant climatic shifts have been additionally occurring within the Americas in the course of a few of the extinctions. The final released quantity with comparable (but now not exact) subject matters -- Extinctions in close to Time -- seemed in 1999; considering the fact that then loads of leading edge, intriguing new study has been performed yet has now not but been compiled and summarized. diverse chapters during this quantity supply in-depth resumés of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South the US, the potential insights into animal ecology supplied through reviews of sturdy isotopes and anatomical/physiological features resembling progress increments in colossal and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic learn approximately large-mammal biology, the purposes of courting easy methods to the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies relating human looking of enormous mammals.

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The Gault site [Collins, 2002, 2003]) to the tip of South America. If it turns out that the Aubrey dates (Ferring, 2001) of ca. 11,550 BP (ca. , 2003:4) are accurate, the time available for migration and population growth could be as much as 700 years. Apparently good associations of artifacts with megafauna bones have been reported from several South American sites. ) burned bones, 10,190 ± 120 (AA-19291) and 10,440 ± 100 (AA-39363). ) ca. , 2007); equid, species unidentified; dates on associated charcoal and wood, 10,920 ± 80 (Beta-194725) 11,060 ± 80 (Beta-215090), 11,090 ± 80 (Beta-215089) Apart from these, there are two stratified sequences of ground sloth dung in caves of the Southern Cone that are analogous to the sites in the southwestern US where abrupt cessation occurs in the absence of any evidence of human activity.

Most importantly, Eastern Beringia at the LGM and Late Glacial was a cul de sac, blocked off by coalescent ice sheets along its eastern edge from about 27,000 to 13,000 cal bp. On the other hand, it was accessible to penetration by fauna from areas to the west, although an ecological barrier (perhaps a zone of mesic woodlands across 27 central Beringia) seems to have prevented the eastward movement of some Eurasian species, such as the woolly rhinoceros (Guthrie, 2001). In some earlier periods, evidently, American species (including horse and camel) were able to traverse the land bridge to colonize Eurasia.

It is also time to recognize that Holocene climate cannot have been a causative factor in the extinctions. The Younger Dryas ended at 11,600 cal bp (10,000 BP), with a rapid and sharp warming that marked the beginning of the Holocene. By that time, the megafauna had already been gone for about 1,000 years. , Chapter 7, and Borrero, Chapter 8). If climate played an important role in the South American extinction, its effects should be evident considerably earlier there. , the El Abra stadial of 2.

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