Fossil Suidae (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from Lee Adoyta, Ledi-Geraru, lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia

Implications for late Pliocene turnover and paleoecology

Ignacio A. Lazagabaster, Antoine Souron, John Rowan, Joshua R. Robinson, Christopher Campisano, Kaye Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The fossiliferous late Pliocene deposits of the Lee Adoyta sub-basin, lower Awash Valley (LAV), Ethiopia, sample a poorly-known time interval in this region (~2.82 to <2.5 Ma). Recent fieldwork in Lee Adoyta by the Ledi-Geraru Research Project has produced a rich mammalian fauna, including the earliest specimen of the genus Homo. Here, we describe the fossil Suidae (pigs) and provide taxonomic and paleoecological comparisons with other sites in the LAV (e.g., Hadar, Woranso-Mille). The Lee Adoyta suid fossils document the presence of at least three species, including Notochoerus cf. No. capensis, Kolpochoerus phillipi, and Metridiochoerus andrewsi, all of which are absent from the older deposits in the LAV (>2.95 Ma). However, two of these species (No. cf. No. capensis and K. phillipi) have likely ancestors known from the Hadar Formation (No. euilus and K. afarensis), implying a continuity of suid lineages through the Pliocene LAV. A compilation of stable carbon isotope (δ13C) data show a trend from C3-C4 mixed diets at Hadar to C4-dominated diets by ~2.82 Ma at Lee Adoyta, most likely C4 grasses. Suids decline in abundance almost linearly from ~3.76 to <2.5 Ma in the LAV, which we propose is related to the expansion of open, grassier habitats during this time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-200
Number of pages15
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume504
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Fingerprint

Suidae
Artiodactyla
paleoecology
Mammalia
Ethiopia
turnover
Pliocene
valleys
fossils
fossil
valley
diet
ancestry
carbon isotope
isotopes
stable isotope
grass
basins
grasses
carbon

Keywords

  • Eastern Africa
  • Hominin environments
  • Mammal evolution
  • Stable carbon isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Fossil Suidae (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from Lee Adoyta, Ledi-Geraru, lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia : Implications for late Pliocene turnover and paleoecology. / Lazagabaster, Ignacio A.; Souron, Antoine; Rowan, John; Robinson, Joshua R.; Campisano, Christopher; Reed, Kaye.

In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 504, 01.09.2018, p. 186-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The fossiliferous late Pliocene deposits of the Lee Adoyta sub-basin, lower Awash Valley (LAV), Ethiopia, sample a poorly-known time interval in this region (~2.82 to <2.5 Ma). Recent fieldwork in Lee Adoyta by the Ledi-Geraru Research Project has produced a rich mammalian fauna, including the earliest specimen of the genus Homo. Here, we describe the fossil Suidae (pigs) and provide taxonomic and paleoecological comparisons with other sites in the LAV (e.g., Hadar, Woranso-Mille). The Lee Adoyta suid fossils document the presence of at least three species, including Notochoerus cf. No. capensis, Kolpochoerus phillipi, and Metridiochoerus andrewsi, all of which are absent from the older deposits in the LAV (>2.95 Ma). However, two of these species (No. cf. No. capensis and K. phillipi) have likely ancestors known from the Hadar Formation (No. euilus and K. afarensis), implying a continuity of suid lineages through the Pliocene LAV. A compilation of stable carbon isotope (δ13C) data show a trend from C3-C4 mixed diets at Hadar to C4-dominated diets by ~2.82 Ma at Lee Adoyta, most likely C4 grasses. Suids decline in abundance almost linearly from ~3.76 to <2.5 Ma in the LAV, which we propose is related to the expansion of open, grassier habitats during this time.",
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