Middle Pliocene Bovidae from Hominid-bearing sites in the Woranso-Mille area, Afar region, Ethiopia

Denis Geraads, Stephanie Melillo, Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hominid-bearing sites of the northwestern part of the Woranso-Mille research area, dated to between 3.7 and 3.8 Mya, yield 10 species of Bovidae. The evolutionary stages of the most common species fit quite well this radiometric age. The most abundant bovid is a new species of Aepyceros, of large size, with upright, lyrated horn-cores; it is clearly distinct from the impalas of younger sites in the same area, and from those sampled at Hadar. A new species of Tragelaphus is also common; its horn-cores exhibit reduced anterior keel and antero-posterior compression foreshadowing the most common form at Hadar. A single partial Ugandax skull, despite some primitiveness, may fit into the variation range of U. coryndonae from Hadar. Other tribes are rare; the virtual absence of reduncines is a major difference from younger sites, but the occurrence of a cephalophine and of Neotragus is worth noting. This assemblage unambiguously indicates an environment with a significant component of arboreal vegetation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalPalaeontologia Africana
Volume44
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Artiodactyla
  • Bovidae
  • Eastern Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Middle Pliocene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology

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