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  Environmental drivers of megafauna and hominin extinction in Southeast Asia

Louys, J., & Roberts, P. (2020). Environmental drivers of megafauna and hominin extinction in Southeast Asia. Nature, 586(7829): s41586-020-2810-y, pp. 402-406. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2810-y.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4BEE-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4BEF-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Louys, Julien, Author
Roberts, Patrick1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Biogeography, Biological anthropology, Ecosystem ecology, Environmental impact, Palaeontology
 Abstract: Southeast Asia has emerged as an important region for understanding hominin and mammalian migrations and extinctions. High-profile discoveries have shown that Southeast Asia has been home to at least five members of the genus Homo1–3. Considerable turnover in Pleistocene megafauna has previously been linked with these hominins or with climate change4, although the region is often left out of discussions of megafauna extinctions. In the traditional hominin evolutionary core of Africa, attempts to establish the environmental context of hominin evolution and its association with faunal changes have long been informed by stable isotope methodologies5,6. However, such studies have largely been neglected in Southeast Asia. Here we present a large-scale dataset of stable isotope data for Southeast Asian mammals that spans the Quaternary period. Our results demonstrate that the forests of the Early Pleistocene had given way to savannahs by the Middle Pleistocene, which led to the spread of grazers and extinction of browsers—although geochronological limitations mean that not all samples can be resolved to glacial or interglacial periods. Savannahs retreated by the Late Pleistocene and had completely disappeared by the Holocene epoch, when they were replaced by highly stratified closed-canopy rainforest. This resulted in the ascendency of rainforest-adapted species as well as Homo sapiens—which has a unique adaptive plasticity among hominins—at the expense of savannah and woodland specialists, including Homo erectus. At present, megafauna are restricted to rainforests and are severely threatened by anthropogenic deforestation.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-10-072020-10-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 22
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Main
Methods
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2810-y
Other: shh2739
 Degree: -

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Title: Nature
  Abbreviation : Nature
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 586 (7829) Sequence Number: s41586-020-2810-y Start / End Page: 402 - 406 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427238