Corridors to Extinction and the Australian Megafauna

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Newnes, Feb 27, 2013 - Science - 328 pages
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Extinctions have always occurred and always will, so what is so surprising about the megafauna extinctions? They were caused by humans and were the first of many extinctions that eventually led to the extinction of the Moa, Steller's Sea Cow, the Dodo, Great Auk and countless other species great and small, all attributed to human agency. Therefore, the megafauna were humans’ first great impact on the planet. There is now an increasing realization that the 'blitzkrieg' view of these extinctions may have been wrong. A growing body of evidence and long-term field work is beginning to show that at least Australia's megafauna did not succumb to human agency, not because humans probably did not hunt the odd animal but because the an infinitely more logical reason lies in the climatic conditions of the Quaternary Ice Ages and the affect they had on continental geography, environment, climate and, most importantly, the biogeography of the megafauna. This book presents the evidence of this theory, demonstrating the biogeographic approach to Australia’s megafauna extinction.

  • Written clearly to benefit a diverse level of readers, from those with a passing interest to professionals in the field.
  • Examines future climate change and its effects on the planet by looking at examples buried in the past
  • Presents new evidence from extensive field research
 

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Contents

1 The Big Five or Six or More
1
2 Extinction Drivers
27
3 After the Dinosaurs
41
From Dreamtime to Desert
77
5 The Australian Tertiary and the First Marsupial Extinctions
95
6 Australia and the Quaternary Ice Ages
127
Australian Megafauna and Their Distribution
149
A Case Study
193
9 Australias Megafauna Extinction Drivers
217
10 Megafauna and Humans in Southeast Asia and Australia
243
The Last Word for Now
273
Australian Tertiary Fauna
277
Ice Age Graphs
281
Australian MidLate Quaternary Megafauna Sites
287
Bibliography
297
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About the author (2013)

Professor Steve Webb currently serves as Professor of Australian Studies at Bond University, Australia. He has worked with the Federal Government and Indigenous agencies extensively, playing a significant role in the repatriation of Aboriginal skeletal remains from Australian and overseas museums to Aboriginal communities. This work has given him a broad understanding of past and present Aboriginal society and the issues facing Aboriginal people.