New U/Th ages for Pleistocene megafauna deposits of southeastern Queensland, Australia

Price, G. J., Zhao, J. X., Feng, Y. X. and Hocknull, S. A. (2009) New U/Th ages for Pleistocene megafauna deposits of southeastern Queensland, Australia. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 34 2: 190-197. doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2008.04.008

Author Price, G. J.
Zhao, J. X.
Feng, Y. X.
Hocknull, S. A.
Title New U/Th ages for Pleistocene megafauna deposits of southeastern Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Asian Earth Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1367-9120
Publication date 2009-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jseaes.2008.04.008
Volume 34
Issue 2
Start page 190
End page 197
Total pages 8
Editor M. Ando
M. Faure
B. Jahn
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 040303 Geochronology
060206 Palaeoecology
Abstract Arguments over the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna have become particularly polarised in recent years. Causes for the extinctions are widely debated with climate change, human hunting and/or habitat modification, or a combination of those factors, being the dominant hypotheses. However, a lack of a spatially constrained chronology for many megafauna renders most hypotheses difficult to test. Here, we present several new U/Th dates for a series of previously undated, megafauna-bearing localities from southeastern Queensland, Australia. The sites were previously used to argue for or against various megafauna extinction hypotheses, and are the type localities for two now-extinct Pleistocene marsupials (including the giant koala, Phascolarctos stirtoni). The new dating allows the deposits to be placed in a spatially-and temporally constrained context relevant to the understanding of Australian megafaunal extinctions. The results indicate that The Joint (Texas Caves) megafaunal assemblage is middle Pleistocene or older (>292 ky); the Cement Mills (Gore) megafaunal assemblage is late Pleistocene or older (>53 ky); and the Russenden Cave Bone Chamber (Texas Caves) megafaunal assemblage is late Pleistocene (55 ky). Importantly, the new results broadly show that the sites date prior to the hypothesised megafaunal extinction ‘window’ (i.e., 30–50 ky), and therefore, cannot be used to argue exclusively for or against human/climate change extinction models, without first exploring their palaeoecological significance on wider temporal and spatial scales.
Keyword Megafauna
U-series dating
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 09:14:12 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis