Late Pleistocene Faunal Extinctions in Southern Patagonia

Science  31 May 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4703, pp. 1110-1112
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4703.1110


Major environmental changes recorded in pollen records from various sites in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are also reflected in pollen and cuticle data from dung of the late Pleistocene groundsloth. The most prominent change was the large-scale reduction of steppe environment about 10,000 years ago, which coincides with the latest dates for extinctions of many large grazers such as the giant groundsloth. Stress on food resources for all the large grazers may well have hastened their extinction. Hunting pressure by paleoindians may have been the final blow.