Located at the southwest corner of Lake Turkana in northern
Kenya, Lothagam represents one of the most important intervals in
African prehistory. Early human remains are restricted in
distribution to Africa and the acquisition of an upright bipedal
striding gait, the hallmark of humanity, appears to be at least
circumstantially linked to the reduction of equatorial forests and
the spread of grasslands on that continent. The diverse Lothagam
fauna documents the end-Miocene transition from forested to more
open habitats that were exploited by grazing horses and antelopes,
hippos, giant pigs, and true elephants. It also includes
spectacularly complete fossil carnivore skeletons and some of the
oldest human remains.
Enlisting a team of highly qualified specialists, this book
provides the geologic context and dating framework for the Lothagam
fossiliferous sequences, describes the immense diversity of
vertebrate fossils recovered from the Late Miocene and Early
Pliocene sediments, and synthesizes the results to interpret the
changing paleoenvironments that prevailed at this site. The book
will interest anthropologists, paleontologists, geologists, and
anyone interested in human origins.
Subjects: Paleontology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, History
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