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GLOBAL CLIMATIC INFLUENCE ON CENOZOIC LAND MAMMAL FAUNAS 205 purely terrestrial hypothesis links each first-order immigration episode to wholesale reorganization of the continental ecosystem triggered by climatic shifts. Two major contradictions to the first hypothesis appear in the Oligocene (35 to 30 Ma) and the Middle Miocene (16 to 6 Ma). Despite major global cooling events, the North American mammal fauna admitted very few immigrants. Possibly no land bridges were available at those times, although the appearance of a few immigrants in the Middle Miocene suggests that there was some physical access. More probably, there were ecological barriers to immigrants at these times. During these two intervals the land mammal faunas experienced high diversity and long stable community development (chronofaunal evolution). This lends credence to the view that the ecosystem was near capacity during the Barstovian acme and perhaps during other chronofaunal intervals. Other more disturbed intervals, on the other hand, were open to major immigration episodes that coincided with positive isotopic excursions in the marine realm. Evidently first-order changes in the oxygen isotope record are necessary but not sufficient causes of first-order immigration episodes into the North American land mammal fauna. The record of continental mammal faunas itself offers a strong signal of major global climatic change. The question of why the continental ecosystem was open to immigrations during certain positive isotopic excursions and not others has fundamental significance to our understanding of the stability of present continental ecosystems. It therefore demands further investigation. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We have benefited from discussions with Catherine Badgely, John Barry, David Hodell, Everett Lindsay, Bruce MacFadden, Malcolm McKenna, Ken Miller, Nick Shackleton, Richard Tedford, Elizabeth Vrba, and Michael Woodburne. 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