Mid-to-late Marine Isotope Stage 3 mammal faunas of Britain: a new look

R. Dinnis*, A. Pate, N. Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Conscious of the difficulty of reliably dating Pleistocene-age bone we re-examine the British record of radiocarbon-dated fauna from mid-to-late Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and early MIS 2, largely known from carnivore accumulations at cave sites. Although the data does not allow for firm conclusions, some observations can be made. An apparent dearth of remains c. 39 ka cal BP may reflect environmental deterioration during Greenland Stadial 9. A last occurrence of hyaena shortly before 35 ka cal BP is earlier than that proposed previously, and their extirpation probably helps to explain a paucity of dated remains <34 ka cal BP; however, we do not confidently rule out their presence 32–31 ka cal BP. The records of hyaena and wolf raise the possibility that their ranges were partially separate, with wolf thriving when climatic downturns brought greater snow-cover. From 34 ka cal BP a more restricted range of taxa is attested. This change coincides with climatic deterioration observable in ice-core and terrestrial records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Britain
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Mammal faunas
  • MIS 3
  • Radiocarbon dating


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