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The problems of Pleistocene fauna: thermokarst as a factor of mammoths’ extinction
Abstract.This article examines the argumentation of the main hypothesis of disappearance of the large Pleistocene fauna. The four components of the problem are being determined and discussed – chronological, landscape-climatic, anthropogenic, and evolutionary. The author analyses the possible effect of the dating method upon the perceptions regarding the chronology of rise and fall of the populations of mammoth fauna, as well as different landscape factors of the destruction and disposal of the fossil fauna, temporal connection of the mass destruction of animals with the eras of climatic cooling and warming. The role of anthropogenic factor of mammoths’ extinction is being evaluated. Special attention is given to the loesses as a factor that forms the habitat of Pleistocene fauna. The article suggest several original hypothesis of mammoths’ extinction that are based on the principles of biospheric evolution and catastrophism. Degradation of mammoth fauna at the turn of Pleistocene and Holocene was significantly affected by the following: rapid increase of zonality of the natural environment with reduction in the area of intrazonal landscapes; disruption of the patterns of seasonal and long-term migration of Pleistocene animals, primarily most vulnerable to changes in ration of the large mammals; amalgamation of the resource-viable zoocenosis that led to degradation of grazing lands and disruption of trophic chain. The key role in disruption of the migration patterns and pasture exhausting is assigned to the thermokarst catastrophe.
Keywords: paleogeography, thermokarst, ground ice, loess, extinction mammoths, glacial cycle, paleozoology, Pleistocene faune, tundra-steppe, yedoma
Article was received:28-10-2017
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .