Late pleistocene and holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

Faith, J.Tyler (2014) Late pleistocene and holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa. Earth-Science Reviews, 128 105-121. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2013.10.009


Author Faith, J.Tyler
Title Late pleistocene and holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa
Journal name Earth-Science Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-8252
1872-6828
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.earscirev.2013.10.009
Volume 128
Start page 105
End page 121
Total pages 17
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Subject 1900 Earth and Planetary Sciences
Abstract Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (>. 5. kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000. yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.
Keyword Climate change
Megafauna
Overkill
Paleoecology
Quaternary
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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