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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Big Bone Lick (BBL) in northern Kentucky, USA has been a critical geologic site in the historical development of North American Quaternary vertebrate paleontology since the 1700s. Sedimentology, geoarcheology, paleontology, accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were undertaken to develop a chronostratigraphy and history of erosion and deposition for the site to provide a foundation for understanding taphonomy, and species extinction and adaptation to periods of climatic and environmental change. Three geomorphic surfaces are recognized at BBL representing significant periods of floodplain aggradation since the last glacial maximum (26.5–19 ka) dating to the Oldest Dryas (Tazewell, 25–19 ka), the Older Dryas (Cary, 14–12 ka), and late Holocene (5 ka to the present). Unconformities suggest significant periods of degradation during the transitions from cold and dry to warm and moist climates from the Oldest Dryas (Tazewell) to Bølling Oscillation, from the Older Dryas (Cary) to the Allerød, and from the Younger Dryas (Valders) to the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Increased anthropogenic activities since ~ 5 ka may have increased soil upland erosion and floodplain aggradation. Stable isotopes demonstrate that the landscape has been dominated by C 3 vegetation since the last glacial maximum.