Thursday, 29 March 2012

Megafauna Collapse Led to Mega Vegetation Changes from ABC News (Australia)

The extinction of Australia's megafauna led to major ecological changes and helped create the vegetation we recognise today, new research has found.

Australia's megafauna included giant marsupials, birds, reptiles and monotremes, which became extinct around 40,000 years ago, not long after humans are thought to have colonised Australia. The cause of their disappearance has been hotly contested for more than 100 years.

The study, published today [March 23] in Science, was led by Dr. Susan Rule from the Australian National University and Professor Christopher Johnson from the University of Tasmania. The team of Australian researchers analysed fungal spores from two sediment cores taken from Lynch's Crater, a paleolake and swamp in north-east Queensland.

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