Vertebrate Records: Mid-Pleistocene of Australia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As an island continent restricted to the Southern Hemisphere, Australia's physiographic, climatic, and biotic histories are unique. This article reviews the records of Australian vertebrates in the middle Pleistocene, an interval of oscillating climate and high faunal diversity, most conspicuously among the larger species composing the 'Pleistocene megafauna'. Australia is divided into eight provinces (major regions) based on modern climatic zones, and the distributions of vertebrates across these provinces are examined. Given the more complete nature of the records for Australian mammals (especially marsupials) compared with those of other vertebrate groups, these species are considered in most detail. Several major 'time-averaged' distribution patterns are evident, particularly among the herbivorous marsupials. These patterns are likely to have been determined by climatically and edaphically controlled distribution of major vegetation types.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
EditorsScott A Elias, Cary J Mock
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780444536433
ISBN (Print)9780444536426
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Birds
  • Caves
  • Climate
  • Distribution
  • Frogs
  • Mammals
  • Marsupials
  • Middle Pleistocene
  • Monotremes
  • Paleoecology
  • Placentals
  • Reptiles
  • Vertebrate fossils
  • Zoogeography


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