What wiped out the megafauna?
IPAS Researcher Adjunct Professor Nigel Spooner is working as part of a South Australian team to answer one of the big questions in Australian science ‘What wiped out the megafauna?’. The Australian megafauna are a number of large animal species in Australia, often defined as species with body mass estimates of greater than 45 kilograms that are widely believed to have become extinct approximately 40 – 50,000 years ago.
Nigel is providing optical dating of quartz grains found in the sediment surrounding recently discovered fossils. This work is being done by the Environmental Luminescence team of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of Adelaide. The dating of this sediment will provide critical information to the team as to when the Diprotodon in this study died.
The work has been covered by ABC’s Catalyst program and a video of this amazing work can be viewed at http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3699312.htm