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Articles sur Megafauna

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Why are the megafauna no longer with us? Flickr/avlxyz

Did fire kill off Australia’s megafauna?

Australia was once home to gigantic reptiles, birds and marsupials, but sadly they’re no longer with us. What happened to them has been a source of ongoing debate, whether it was human hunting, climate…
Megafauna such as Glyptodon were muck-spreaders. Pavel Riha

Megafauna extinction affects ecosystems 12,000 years later

If Earth were like a human body, large animals might be its arteries, moving nutrients from where they’re abundant to where they’re needed. Currently the planet has large regions where life is limited…
Barren and isolated, Riversleigh is actually one of the most important fossil sites in the world. Riversleigh from Shutterstock.

Unknown wonders: Riversleigh

Australia is famous for its natural beauty: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kakadu, the Kimberley. But what about the places almost no one goes? We asked ecologists, biologists and wildlife researchers…
Giant creatures such as the marsupial ‘lion’ (Thylacoleo carnifex) didn’t die out from hunting. Peter Schouten

Climate change wiped out Australia’s megafauna

Throughout the Ice Age that characterised our planet for much of the last two million years or so mainland Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea formed a single landmass — Sahul. It was a strange and often…
Fossils found in Queensland have added another gigantic creature to Australia’s prehistoric mammals. Peter Schouten/PloSONE

Fossils reveal Australia’s tree-top heavyweight herbivore

In Australia today, the biggest tree-dwelling mammals are our iconic and much loved koala and the enigmatic Bennett’s tree-kangaroo. The largest males of both species weigh a mere 14 kg. But a study of…
There’s not much left to show megafauna were hunted, but that doesn’t prove they weren’t. Peter Murray

Hunting or climate change? Megafauna extinction debate narrows

What is the oldest debate in Australian science? Probably, the argument over what caused extinction of our Pleistocene megafauna – the diprotodons, giant kangaroos, marsupial tapirs, über-echidnas and…
The Diprotodon optatum, a marsupial mega-herbivore sometimes known as the Giant Wombat or the Rhinoceros Wombat, grew to three metres in length and two metres in height. Its closest surviving relatives are the wombat and the koala. Peter Murray

Hunters, not climate change, killed giant beasts 40,000 years ago

The first Australians hunted giant kangaroos, rhinoceros-sized marsupials, huge goannas and other megafauna to extinction shortly after arriving in the country more than 40,000 years ago, new research…

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