Late Pleistocene

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Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
System Series Stage Age (Ma)
Quaternary Holocene 0–0.0117
Pleistocene Tarantian 0.0117–0.126
Ionian 0.126–0.781
Calabrian 0.781–1.806
Gelasian 1.806–2.588
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian older
In Europe and North America, the Holocene is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic stages of the Blytt-Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas substage.

The Late Pleistocene is a geochronological age of the Pleistocene Epoch and is associated with Upper Pleistocene or Tarantian stage Pleistocene series rocks. The beginning of the stage is defined by the base of the Eemian interglacial phase before the final glacial episode of the Pleistocene 126,000 ± 5,000 years ago. The end of the age is defined as 11,700 calendar years b2k (before AD 2000).[1] The age represents the end of the Pleistocene epoch and is followed by the Holocene epoch.

Much of the Late Pleistocene age was dominated by glaciation (the Wisconsin glaciation in North America and corresponding glacial periods in Eurasia). Many megafauna became extinct over this age, a trend that continued into the Holocene. Also, human species other than modern humans died out during the Pleistocene. Humanity spread to every continent except for Antarctica during the Late Pleistocene.

North America[edit]

According to George Carr Frison, Bison occidentalis and Bison antiquus, an extinct subspecies of the smaller present-day bison, survived the Late Pleistocene period, between about 12,000 and 11,000 years ago. Plains and Rocky Mountain First Nations depended on these bison as their major food source.[2][Notes 1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Frison noted that the "oldest, well-documented bison kills by pedestrian human hunters in North America date to about 11,000 years ago".

Citations[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ehlers, J., and P.L. Gibbard, 2004a, Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology 2: Part II North America. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-51462-7
  • Ehlers, J., and P L. Gibbard, 2004b, Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology 3: Part III: South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. ISBN 0-444-51593-3
  • Gillespie, A.R., S.C. Porter, and B.F. Atwater, 2004, The Quaternary Period in the United States. Developments in Quaternary Science no. 1. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 978-0-444-51471-4
  • Mangerud, J., J. Ehlers, and P. Gibbard, 2004, Quaternary Glaciations : Extent and Chronology 1: Part I Europe. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-51462-7
  • Sibrava, V., Bowen, D.Q, and Richmond, G.M., 1986, Quaternary Glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere, Quaternary Science Reviews. vol. 5, pp. 1–514.

Paleoclimatology stages[edit]

North American Land Mammal Ages within the Late Pleistocene: Rancholabrean age 0.3 Ma. Upper boundary 0.011 Ma.

Quaternary
Pleistocene Holocene
Early | Middle | Late Preboreal | Boreal |
Atlantic | Subboreal | Subatlantic