Large mammal turnover in Africa and the Levant between 1.0 and 0.5 Ma
Published:January 01, 2005
H. J. O’Regan, L. C. Bishop, A. Lamb, S. Elton, A. Turner, 2005. "Large mammal turnover in Africa and the Levant between 1.0 and 0.5 Ma", Early–Middle Pleistocene Transitions: The Land–Ocean Evidence, M.J. Head, P.L. Gibbard
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Faunal change at the Early–Middle Pleistocene boundary in Europe has long been a topic for discussion. However, analyses of large mammal turnover at this time in Africa have been lacking, largely because of the low number of sites dated to this interval. Recent work, particularly in the last 10 years, has resulted in a much larger published sample of sites and we synthesize these data in this paper. In our multivariate (TWINSPAN) analyses of African and Levantine large mammal faunas we found that localities were subdivided by geographic regions, not by age. There were some small-scale changes with the appearance or extinction of particular taxa, but there was no large-scale turnover such as that seen in Europe. The Levant was included as a possible route for faunal interchange with east Africa, but no similarities were found between these areas. It therefore appears that the modern zoogeographic separation of the Levant and north Africa into the Palaearctic region and sub-Saharan Africa into the African region can be traced back to at least the Early–Middle Pleistocene boundary.
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Early–Middle Pleistocene Transitions: The Land–Ocean Evidence
The Early–Middle Pleistocene transition (around 1.2 to 0.5 Ma) marks a profound shift in Earth’s climate state. Low-amplitude 41 ka climate cycles, dominating the earlier part of the Pleistocene, gave way progressively to a 100 ka rhythm of increased amplitude that characterizes our present glacial—interglacial world. This volume assesses the biotic and physical response to this transition both on land and in the oceans: indeed it examines the very nature of Quaternary climate change. Milankovitch theory, palaeoceanography using isotopes and microfossils, marine organic geochemistry, tephrochronology, the record of loess and soil deposition, terrestrial vegetationa! change, and the migration and evolution of hominins as well as other large and small mammals, are all considered. These themes combine to explore the very origins of our present biota.