By Gary Haynes
The quantity includes summaries of proof, theories, and unsolved difficulties referring to 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 US and approximately 1,000 years later in South the USA. 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 guilty, even though significant climatic shifts have been additionally occurring within the Americas in the course of many of the extinctions. The final released quantity with comparable (but no longer exact) subject matters -- Extinctions in close to Time -- seemed in 1999; because then loads of leading edge, interesting new study has been performed yet has no longer but been compiled and summarized. various chapters during this quantity offer in-depth resumés of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South the United States, the prospective insights into animal ecology supplied by means of experiences of strong isotopes and anatomical/physiological features resembling development increments in enormous 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 huge mammals.
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Extra resources for American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene
1998). Steadman et al. , 2004). Four dates of ca. , 2004). , 2001 vs. , 2001). The appearance of fluted or pseudo-fluted fishtail (Fell I) points in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego about 11,000–10,700 BP (Flegenheimer and Zarate, 1997) signals the arrival of Clovis-descended Paleoindians around 12,900 cal bp. The earliest of the most precise (1-sigma < 100), internally consistent radiocarbon dates from good stratigraphic contexts for Fell I assemblages in southernmost South America (Miotti and Salemme, 2003) are: Piedra Museo Tres Arroyos Cerro Tres Tetas Cueva Casa del Minero 11,000 ± 65 (AA-27950) 10,925 ± 65 (OxA 8528) 11,085 ± 70 (OxA 9248) 10,915 ± 65 (AA-22233) 10,999 ± 55 (AA-37207) 10,967 ± 55 (AA-37208) 31 At first glance, these dates are as early as the best-dated Clovis sites in North America (ca.
Adult woolly mammoths, McNeil et al. (2005) conclude that the mammoth population was “stressed and declining,” whether due to climate change or selective human hunting of juveniles. An apparently tight association of debitage and a chopper with skeletal elements of seven equids (E. , 2006), provides the first convincing evidence of human hunting of horse in North America (some horse teeth were found at Murray Springs). Two additional Clovis-era dates recently reported from southern Alberta are 10,930 ± 100 BP (TO-8514) for a Columbian mammoth 29 (M.
2004; Heaton and Grady, 2003). Much has been made of the presence of bears on the islands off southeast Alaska; where these big omnivores lived, it is argued, so could people. Perhaps so; but there is a gap in dated bear bones from the Alexander Archipelago between 27,000 and 12,300 BP (Heaton and Grady, 2003). The oldest date for a human presence in that area is 10,300±50 BP, for a tool probably made from a bear rib. Human skeletal elements from the same context (in On Your Knees Cave, on Prince of Wales Island) were dated to about 9,800 BP, but recognition of the largely marine diet of this individual requires reservoir correction to about 9,200 BP, consistent with three charcoal dates for this occupation zone (Dixon, 1999).