Fossil bandicoots (Marsupialia, Peramelidae) and environmental change during the Pleistocene on the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, Australia

Price, Gilbert J. (2005) Fossil bandicoots (Marsupialia, Peramelidae) and environmental change during the Pleistocene on the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, Australia. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 2 4: 347-356. doi:10.1017/S1477201904001476


Author Price, Gilbert J.
Title Fossil bandicoots (Marsupialia, Peramelidae) and environmental change during the Pleistocene on the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Systematic Palaeontology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0968-0462
1477-2019
1478-0941
Publication date 2005-01-26
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1477201904001476
Volume 2
Issue 4
Start page 347
End page 356
Total pages 10
Place of publication Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, U.K.
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Subject 040308 Palaeontology (incl.Palynology)
060206 Palaeoecology
060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography
060306 Evolutionary Impacts of Climate Change
Formatted abstract
Systematic collecting from fluviatile Pleistocene fossil deposits of the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, Australia, has led to an increase in the region's fossil record of bandicoots. Isoodon obesulus, Perameles bougainville and P. nasuta are reported for the first time in the Darling Downs fossil record. Accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates based on charcoal from bandicoot fossilā€bearing stratigraphic horizons indicates deposition 45–40 ka. Additional material attributed to the recently described Darling Downs P. sobbei is also described. P. sobbei retains plesiomorphic characters in the upper dentition including reduction of the metaconule on M3 and the lack of posterior cingula on M2 and M3. Phylogenetic interpretation of dental characters suggests that P. sobbei has closer affinities to the Pliocene P. bowensis than to any modern species. The presence of extant species such as P. bougainville and I. obesulus as fossils provides evidence that scrublands and closed woodlands with dense understories existed on the Darling Downs during the Pleistocene. The Darling Downs bandicoot assemblage represents the only known fauna, fossil or modern, where I. obesulus, P. bougainville and P. nasuta occur sympatrically. The Pleistocene Darling Downs may have had a more equable climate than occurs today and a greater range of habitat niches to support such populations. The southern and western contraction of the geographical ranges of I. obesulus and P. bougainville between the Pleistocene and the present was probably the result of significant environmental change that may have involved the contraction of woodlands and expansion of grasslands. The persistence of P. nasuta populations on the Darling Downs from the Pleistocene to the present may reflect that species’ ability to adapt to a wide range of habitats.
Keyword Isoodon
Perameles
Non-analogue assemblage
Kings Creek catchment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
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Created: Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 12:16:39 EST by Sophie Jordan on behalf of Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis