Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution

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Paul S. Martin, Richard G. Klein
University of Arizona Press, Jan 1, 1989 - Science - 892 pages
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What caused the extinction of so many animals at or near the end of the Pleistocene? Was it overkill by human hunters, the result of a major climatic change or was it just a part of some massive evolutionary turnover? Questions such as these have plagued scientists for over one hundred years and are still being heatedly debated today. Quaternary Extinctions presents the latest and most comprehensive examination of these questions. —Geological Magazine

"May be regarded as a kind of standard encyclopedia for Pleistocene vertebrate paleontology for years to come." —American Scientist

"Should be read by paleobiologists, biologists, wildlife managers, ecologists, archeologists, and anyone concerned about the ongoing extinction of plants and animals." —Science

"Uncommonly readable and varied for watchers of paleontology and the rise of humankind." —Scientific American

"Represents a quantum leap in our knowledge of Pleistocene and Holocene palaeobiology. . . . Many volumes on our bookshelves are destined to gather dust rather than attention. But not this one." —Nature

"Two strong impressions prevail when first looking into this epic compendium. One is the judicious balance of views that range over the whole continuum between monocausal, cultural, or environmental explanations. The second is that both the data base and theoretical sophistication of the protagonists in the debate have improved by a quantum leap since 1967." —American Anthropologist

  

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Contents

A Mammalian
40
New World Mammoth Distribution
90
A CLOSE LOOK AT SIGNIFICANT SITES
111
The Record of Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions
128
Late Pleistocene Fossils of Natural Trap Cave
138
The Significance of Radiocarbon Dates
159
GEOLOGICCLIMATIC MODELS
187
Pleistocene Extinctions in the Context
211
Mammoths in China
517
Faunal Turnover and Extinction Rate
528
Mammalian Extinctions and Stone Age People
553
The Loss
574
SEVERE LOSSES
597
Comings and Goings of Late Quaternary Mammals
629
Last of the Australian Megafauna
639
Timing
681

Revolutionary Disequilibrium and Pleistocene
223
Seasonality Gestation Time and Large
271
Environmental Insularity and the Extinction
315
CULTURAL MODELS
343
The Global Model
354
The Reordered North American Selection Regime
404
North American Late Quaternary Extinctions
440
Experiments with
451
Extinction of Birds in the Late Pleistocene
466
MODEST LOSSES
481
Late Cenozoic Plant Extinctions
691
Moas Men and Middens
708
The Extinction of Moa in Southern New Zealand
728
Faunal Extinction and Prehistoric
741
The Role of Polynesians in the Extinction
768
AN OVERVIEW
783
Thoughts
807
A Rosetta Stone
824
INDEX
867
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

Paul S. Martin is a professor emeritus of geosciences at the University of Arizona.

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