• The Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Stick-Nest Rat Middens in Australia

      Pearson, Stuart; Lawson, Ewan; Head, Lesley; McCarthy, Lynne; Dodson, John (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1999-01-01)
      The spatial and temporal distribution of 145 radiocarbon dates on 66 Australian stick-nest rat middens (Muridae: Leporillus spp.) range from modern to 10,900 +/90 BP. As in American packrat middens, age frequency follows a logarithmic decay, both continentally and at major sites. This is probably a result of natural decay processes. Unlike American middens of similar age, relatively few range changes in plant distribution have been detected in Australia. The distribution of 14C ages and the associated midden materials provide important paleoenvironmental information from the arid interior of Australia. The middens record subtle changes in vegetation and dramatic changes in the fauna unlike those interpreted from sites on the coastal rim or the southeastern periphery of the arid zone.