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A fossil terrestrial fauna from Tobène (Senegal) provides a unique early Pliocene window in western Africa

Abstract : Early Pliocene hominin evolutionary scenarios proposed to date mostly rely on paleontological investigations from eastern Africa. Filling major geographical gaps in the fossil record could potentially invalidate these scenarios and stimulate development of improved theories. Based on published literature, no Pliocene fossil of continental vertebrates have been discovered in Western Africa and the situation is only slightly better in central and northern Africa. Here, we expand the Pliocene vertebrate continental fossil record to western Africa with the description of the Tobène fauna, a new fossiliferous Neogene locality from Senegal. We describe a diversity of large mammals, including at least ten taxa based on fragmentary remains recovered from alluvial channel deposits. Estimation based on weathering events and biochronology suggests an early Pliocene age. Most of these mammalian taxa were widely distributed over the African continent during the early Pliocene. Possible faunal correlations with eastern African localities call for continent-wide paleontological investigations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 4:40:47 PM
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Fabrice Lihoreau, Raphaël Sarr, Domininique Chardon, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Renaud Lebrun, et al.. A fossil terrestrial fauna from Tobène (Senegal) provides a unique early Pliocene window in western Africa. Gondwana Research, Elsevier, 2021, 99, pp.21 - 35. ⟨10.1016/⟩. ⟨hal-03413301⟩



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