Download American Megafaunal Extinctions at the End of the by Gary (Ed.) Haynes, Gary Haynes PDF

By Gary (Ed.) Haynes, Gary Haynes

The quantity comprises summaries of proof, theories, and unsolved difficulties concerning the unexplained extinction of dozens of genera of quite often 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 people has resulted in the advice that foraging people are in charge, even if significant climatic shifts have been additionally occurring within the Americas in the course of a number of the extinctions. The final released quantity with comparable (but now not exact) issues -- Extinctions in close to Time -- seemed in 1999; on account that then loads of leading edge, intriguing new study has been performed yet has now not but been compiled and summarized. varied chapters during this quantity supply in-depth resum?s of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South the USA, the prospective insights into animal ecology supplied through experiences of good isotopes and anatomical/physiological features akin to development increments in substantial and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic examine approximately large-mammal biology, the purposes of relationship tips on how to the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies touching on human searching of enormous mammals.

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Extra info for American Megafaunal Extinctions at the End of the Pleistocene (Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology)

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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. 12,600 BP, then the appearance of moose at about 12,300 BP. Prior to the 12,600 BP expansion, the latest previous date for elk is 18,210 ± 225 BP.

There is no clear pattern of earlier western vs. later eastern dates for Clovis sensu stricto; classic sites such as Lehner and Murray Springs in Arizona date to ca. 10,900 BP, but so does Shawnee-Minisink in eastern Pennsylvania (Dent, 1999). Shawnee-Minisink is now the most precisely dated Clovis site: 10,935 ± 15 BP, by averaging of several dates on burnt seeds (Waters and Stafford, 2007). The corridor seems now to have opened some time prior to 11,000 BP (contra Arnold, 2002). Recent tentative identification of elk (wapiti, Cervus elaphus) antler “foreshafts” (their presumed function) in the Anzick infant burial in Montana suggests that elk and other large mammals could have traversed the corridor at the same time that humans did.

On Wrangel Island, off the north coast of Siberia, the last date for a small mammoth is 3,685 ± 60 BP. On St. Paul Island, one of the Pribilof Islands located in the Bering Sea, 500 km off the Alaska coast, dates of 7,908 ± 100, 8,015 ± 85, and 8,010 ± 40 BP were obtained for split samples of one mammoth bone (Guthrie, 2004). An even later age of ca. , 2005). Several issues are raised by these dates: (1) These are small animals that survived the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, while full-size relatives on the mainland succumbed; so much for the assumption that decreasing body size is the prelude to extinction!

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