|Subdivisions of the Quaternary System|
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. Its end is defined at the end of the Younger Dryas, some 11,700 years ago. 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 glaciations, such as the Wisconsin glaciation in North America and the Weichselian glaciation and Würm glaciation in Eurasia). Many megafauna became extinct over this age, a trend that continued into the Holocene. The Late Pleistocene contains the Upper Paleolithic stage of human development, including the out-of-Africa migration and dispersal of anatomically modern humans and the extinction of the last remaining archaic human species.
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 and 11 ka ago. Plains and Rocky Mountain First Nations depended on these bison as their major food source.[Notes 1] Earlier kills of camels, horses, and muskoxen found at Wally's beach were dated to 13.1–13.3 ka B.P.
- Frison noted that the "oldest, well-documented bison kills by pedestrian human hunters in North America date to about 11,000 years ago".
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- Frison 2000.
- Michael R. Waters; Thomas W. Stafford Jr.; Brian Kooyman; L. V. Hills (March 23, 2015). "Late Pleistocene horse and camel hunting at the southern margin of the ice-free corridor: Reassessing the age of Wally's Beach, Canada". PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1420650112. PMC 4394292.
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