Journal article

Mammalian responses to Pleistocene climate change in southeastern Australia

Gavin J Prideaux, Richard G Roberts, Dirk Megirian, Kira E Westaway, John C Hellstrom, Jon Im Olley

GEOLOGY | GEOLOGICAL SOC AMERICA, INC | Published : 2007

Abstract

Resolving faunal responses to Pleistocene climate change is vital for differentiating human impacts from other drivers of ecological change. While 90 % of Australia's large mammals were extinct by ca. 45 ka, their responses to glacial-interglacial cycling have remained unknown, due to a lack of rigorous biostratigraphic studies and the rarity of terrestrial climatic records that can be related directly to faunal records. We present an analysis of faunal data from the Naracoorte Caves in southeastern Australia, which are unique not only because of the species richness and time-depth of the assemblages that they contain, but also because this faunal record is directly comparable with a 500 k.y..

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University of Melbourne Researchers