Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50,000-Year History
Of the forty mammal species known to have vanished in the world in the last 200 years, almost half have been Australian. Our continent has the worst record of mammal extinctions, with over 65 mammal species having vanished in the last 50 000 years. It began with the great wave of megafauna extinctions in the last ice-age, and continues today, with many mammal species vulnerable to extinction. The question of why mammals became extinct, and why so many became extinct in Australia has been debated by experts for over a century and a half and we are no closer to agreement on the causes. This book introduces readers to the great mammal extinction debate. Chris Johnson takes us on a detective-like tour of these extinctions, uncovering how, why and when they occurred.
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A brief history of Australias mammals
MAMMALS AND PEOPLE IN ICEAGE AUSTRALIA
What caused the megafauna extinctions?
human arrival and megafauna
The changing environment of the Pleistocene
Testing hypotheses on megafauna extinction
THE LATE PREHISTORIC PERIOD
Dingoes people and other mammals
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45 kyr ago Aboriginal abundance animals archaeological areas arid arrival artefacts Australian mammals bandicoot bettong bilby body mass bones Browse burning burrowing burrowing bettong carnivores cats and foxes caused Cave charcoal climate continent Cuddie Springs dates decline density desert bandicoot devil dingoes Diprotodon disappeared ecological effects environments European evidence extinct species extinction Figure fire Flannery forest fossil Genyornis giant grasses Guinea habitats hare-wallaby herbivores Holocene human hunters hunting impact increase Island killed kilograms Lake large mammals last glacial cycle late Pleistocene living mainland Australia mammal extinctions mammal species marsupials megafauna extinctions monotremes native mammals northern Australia numbers plants Plate Pleistocene megafauna pollen population possums predators prey probably Procoptodon Queensland rabbits rainforest range rat-kangaroos recent record region rodents sediments sheep shrublands shrubs Simosthenurus South Australia South Wales southeastern southern specialised suggests survived Tasmania temperature thylacine tion trees vertebrates wallaby Western Australia widespread wombats woodlands woylies Wroe