Late Pleistocene Large Mammalian Herbivores: Implications for Early Human Hunting Patterns in Southern California
Jefferson, George T.
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The paleogeographic distribution of large herbivorous mammals and <br /><br />their inferred migratory and behavioral patterns may be critical in reconstructing <br /><br />the scheduling and procurement strategies of early human hunters in the south- <br /><br />western United States. During Rancholabrean time there were provincial differ- <br /><br />ences in faunal composition between the southwestern Great Basin and Mojave <br /><br />Desert, intermontane southern California, and coastal southern California. Such <br /><br />provinciality is not unexpected, especially in view of ecological differences between <br /><br />continental and maritime conditions during the late Pleistocene. Although many <br /><br />large mammalian herbivores ranged widely throughout this region, the distribu- <br /><br />tion of rare or provincially endemic taxa (such as Tapirus) and the relative abun- <br /><br />dance of common taxa (e.g., species of Equus, Camelops, Hemiauchenia, and <br /><br />Bison), reflect local paleoecological conditions and habitat patterns. These data <br /><br />suggest that if human hunters were present in the region, their procurement strat- <br /><br />egies should reflect faunal provinciality and would have been adjusted to local <br /><br />mammalian distributions and conditions.