The Interaction of Humans, Megaherbivores, and Habitats in the Late Pleistocene Extinction Event

  • Norman Owen-Smith
Part of the Advances in Vertebrate Paleobiology book series (AIVP, volume 2)


The extinction pulse during the late Pleistocene exhibited the following special features: (1) extinction likelihood was strongly dependent on body size, (2) the severity of the extinctions varied markedly between continents, and (3) extinctions were associated in time with the appearance of humans, and also with a period of climatic and hence habitat change (Owen-Smith, 1987). Causal explanations must be judged by their ability to predict these patterns.


Late Pleistocene Recruitment Curve White Rhino Large Mammalian Herbivore Body Size Range 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Owen-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for African Ecology and Department of ZoologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandWitsSouth Africa

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