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Would the Australian megafauna have become extinct if humans had never colonised the continent? Comments on “A review of the evidence for a human role in the extinction of Australian megafauna and an alternative explanation” by S. Wroe and J. Field

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-22, 01:57 authored by Brook, BW, David BowmanDavid Bowman, Burney, DA, Flannery, TF, Gagan, MK, Gillespie, R, Johnson, CN, Kershaw, P, Magee, JW, Martin, PS, Miller, GH, Peiser, B, Roberts, RG
A critical comment on 'A review of the evidence for a human role in the extinction of Australian megafauna and an alternative explanation' by S. Wroe and J. Field is presented. The authors have highlighted a range of ideas under consideration, and provided a selective interpretation which does not come to terms with biology and ignores or misinterprets current evidence. They rely heavily on the ages reported by Roberts et al. (2001) to argue for a gradual attenuation of the megafauna. They propose a staggered series of extinctions throughout the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with many taxa lost during the Penultimate Glacial Maximum (PGM) 140 130 ka, and relatively few species persisting. They ignore measurement uncertainties associated with the ages, which, when properly considered, means that 20, rather than eight of the species they list have last appearance ages consistent with ́45 ka.

History

Publication title

Quaternary Science Reviews

Volume

26

Issue

3-4

Pagination

560-564

ISSN

0277-3791

Department/School

School of Natural Sciences

Publisher

Pergamon

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified

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