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Revised radiocarbon ages on woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) from western central Scotland : significance for timing the extinction of woolly rhinoceros in Britain and the onset of the LGM in central Scotland

By Roger M. Jacobi, James Rose, Alison MacLeod and Thomas F.G. Higham

Abstract

Woolly rhinoceros bones, from a number of sites in Britain, have been AMS radiocarbon dated following ultrafiltration pre-treatment. These determinations give a coherent set of ages between >50 and c. 35 cal ka BP. The youngest (35,864–34,765 cal BP) come from the area around Bishopbriggs in western central Scotland and are derived from glaciofluvial sand and gravel overlain by till, both deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glaciation. A previous radiocarbon date from the site suggested that woolly rhinoceros lived c. 27 14C ka BP and the region was ice-free at the time. This date has had significant influence on the timing of extinction of woolly rhinoceros and the onset of glaciation over Britain during the LGM. The new dates revise this earlier determination and confirm that woolly rhinoceros became extinct in Britain after c. 35 cal ka BP, that central Scotland was ice-free at this time, and glaciation extended across this region sometime after 35 cal ka BP

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.08.010
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:8855
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