Age constraints on Pleistocene megafauna at Tight Entrance Cave in southwestern Australia

Linda Ayliffe, Gavin Prideaux, Michael Bird, Rainer Grun, Richard Roberts, Grant Gully, Rhys Jones, Keith Fifield, Richard Cresswell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    A well-stratified succession of fossiliferous sediments occurs in Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia. These infill deposits contain the remains of megafauna and have accumulated intermittently since the Middle Pleistocene: >137, 137-119 and 50-29 ka, according to the results of 14C, U-Th, ESR and OSL dating techniques. Megafaunal species richness was highest in the latest part of the penultimate glacial maximum and during the subsequent last interglacial (137-119 ka), but remains are less abundant following an apparent ?70 ka depositional hiatus in the sequence. Most megafaunal specimens from the upper (<44 ka) units are fragmentary, and reworking from older strata cannot yet be ruled out. However, one specimen of Simosthenurus occidentalis (a large extinct kangaroo), a pair of articulated dentaries showing no signs of secondary transportation, was found within a sedimentary layer deposited between 48 and 50 ka. This represents one of the youngest demonstrably in situ occurrences of an Australian megafaunal taxon. Crown Copyright
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1784-1788
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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