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Vertebrate community on an ice-age Caribbean island

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doi: 10.1073/pnas.1516490112
Authors:Steadman, David W.; Albury, Nancy A.; Kakuk, Brian; Mead, Jim I.; Soto-Centeno, J. Angel; Singleton, Hayley M.; Franklin, Janet
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, United States
National Museum of the Bahamas, Bahamas
Bahamas Underground, Bahamas
East Tennessee State University, United States
American Museum of Natural History, United States
Arizona State University, United States
Volume Title:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Source:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(44), p.E5963-E5971. Publisher: National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0027-8424
Publication Date:2015
Note:In English. 66 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, sketch map
Summary:We report 95 vertebrate taxa (13 fishes, 11 reptiles, 63 birds, 8 mammals) from late Pleistocene bone deposits in Sawmill Sink, Abaco, The Bahamas. The >5,000 fossils were recovered by scuba divers on ledges at depths of 27-35 m below sea level. Of the 95 species, 39 (41%) no longer occur on Abaco (4 reptiles, 31 birds, 4 mammals). We estimate that 17 of the 39 losses (all of them birds) are linked to changes during the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition (PHT) (≈15-9 ka) in climate (becoming more warm and moist), habitat (expansion of broadleaf forest at the expense of pine woodland), sea level (rising from -80 m to nearly modern levels), and island area (receding from ≈17,000 km2 to 1,214 km2). The remaining 22 losses likely are related to the presence of humans on Abaco for the past 1,000 y. Thus, the late Holocene arrival of people probably depleted more populations than the dramatic physical and biological changes associated with the PHT.
Subjects:Actinopterygii; Anapsida; Archosauria; Aves; Biostratigraphy; Bones; Caviomorpha; Cenozoic; Chiroptera; Chondrichthyes; Chordata; Climate change; Colubridae; Crocodilia; Crocodylidae; Cryptodira; Depositional environment; Diapsida; Elasmobranchii; Eusuchia; Eutheria; Faunal studies; Glacial environment; Holocene; Lepidosauria; Mammalia; Neognathae; Neornithes; Osteichthyes; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironment; Perciformes; Pleistocene; Quaternary; Reptilia; Rodentia; Sea-level changes; Serpentes; Sinkholes; Solution features; Squamata; Strigiformes; Teeth; Teleostei; Testudines; Tetrapoda; Theria; Upper Pleistocene; Vertebrata; Bahamas; Caribbean region; West Indies; Accipitriformes; Blennidae; Blue holes; Caprimulgiformes; Carcharinidae; Chelonoidus; Columbidae; Crocodylus; Great Abaco Island; Gruiformes; Iguania; Owl Roost; Piciformes; Procellariiformes; Sawmill Sink
Coordinates:N261200 N261300 W0771400 W0771400
Record ID:813725-3
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.
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