The faunal succession of Japanese Quaternary mammals is described within the stratigraphic framework provided mainly by KAMEI, KAWAMURA and TARUNO (1988). Descriptions are given separately for Hokkaido, Honshu-Shikoku-Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands.In Hokkaido, Pleistocene mammalian remains are too scarce to provide a detailed faunal succession, but abundant remains of Holocene age suggest that the fauna was almost identical to that of the present day. Large mammals recorded for the Late Pleistocene are therefore considered to have been extinct by the Holocene.In Honshu-Shikoku-Kyushu, the Early Pleistocene fauna is of temperate forest type, and related to those of north China. Almost all the components are, however, assigned to extinct endemic species. The Middle Pleistocene fauna is characterized by the presence of extant species. In fact, they exceed half of the components in the middle Middle Pleistocene fauna, and are still more common in the later faunas. This fauna is also dominated by temperate forest elements and endemic species. Immigration from south China in the middle Middle Pleistocene is more limited than previously thought, and only a few forms migrated from north and northeast China in the late Middle Pleistocene. The Late Pleistocene fauna is basically identical with that of the Middle Pleistocene except for the absence of several extinct species and several exotic species which still survive in other regions. Although the fauna seems to have been isolated from those of the adjacent continent in the early Late Pleistocene, immigration of large herbivores from the northern part of the continent was recognized in the late Late Pleistocene. Most of the extinct and exotic species were eliminated from the fauna between 20, 000 and 10, 000 years BP, and thus the fauna became almost identical with that of the present day by the early Holocene.In the Ryukyu Islands, Early and Middle Pleistocene faunas are almost unknown, while Late Pleistocene and Holocene ones are relatively well recorded. The Late Pleistocene fauna is of insular type, and includes several species endemic to the islands. Some of them are extinct species. From the end of the Pleistocene to the Holocene, insularity of the fauna was enhanced by the extinction of major species and by extreme reduction in habitat areas of the survivors.

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