In the shadow of the megafauna: prehistoric mammal and bird extinctions across the Holocene
Huge numbers of prehistoric vertebrate extinctions and large-scale range contractions have been documented throughout the Holocene. Evidence for direct human involvement in these extinctions and population shifts is not confounded by other factors and remains relatively undisputed. The Holocene has the potential to act as an ideal study system for investigating the long-term dynamics of anthropogenically mediated extinctions at a global scale, but it remains uncertain whether most prehistoric Holocene extinction events occurred as a result of direct overkill or indirect factors such as habitat destruction. This chapter reviews data on global patterns of mammal and bird species extinctions to provide an assessment of patterns of prehistoric human impact across space and time since the end of the last glaciation. Whereas continental mammals and bird extinctions were relatively minor in comparison to Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions, insular faunas have experienced massive-scale extinction events of varying complexity over the past few thousand years.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.