The adequate development, refinement and testing of late Pleistocene extinction hypotheses can only be achieved with far more extensive, complete and reliable dating than is presently available. This project will use recently developed direct dating methods, particularly high-throughput MC-ICP-MS U-series dating, to produce reliable chronological datasets for extinct megafauna, based on fossils held in museum collections. The existing datasets will be substantially improved by the expansion of regionally extensive, diverse and well-dated faunal records. The study will provide the key chronological data that can be fed into broader studies concerning the palaeobiology, palaeoecology, evolution and extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.
Diprotodon skeleton eroding out from a 130 ka site near the Leichhardt River, north Queensland, Australia
(Photo credit Dr Gilbert Price)