Lancefield Swamp and the Extinction of the Australian Megafauna

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4345, pp. 1044-1048
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4345.1044-a


Excavations into the Australian swamp of Lancefield show that a bone bed dated at 26,000 years ago contains perhaps 10,000 giant extinct animals. Associated artifacts suggest that humans were in the area, but the direct cause of death of the animals is, on present evidence, not explicable. Such a recent date for the classic megafauna shows that it was living together with humans for at least 7000 years in southeast Australia. This enduring association argues against a catastrophic and rapid overkill in the Australian Pleistocene.