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Preliminary small mammal taphonomy of FLK NW level 20 (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

Arcos Fernández, Saleta and Sevilla García, Paloma and Fernández Jalvo, Yolanda (2010) Preliminary small mammal taphonomy of FLK NW level 20 (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Quaternary research, 74 . pp. 405-410. ISSN 0033-5894

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Abstract

The Bed-I series of Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) is a reference site in human evolution, having yielded the
holotypes of Paranthropus boisei and Homo habilis, together with manufactured artefacts and abundant large
and micro-fauna. Excavations in Olduvai Gorge have been recently resumed, with new aims and new results.
This paper presents the results of the taphonomic analysis carried out on a fossil small-mammal assemblage
recovered from FLK NW level 20, a layer overlying Tuff C, dated from 1.84 Ma. The analysis provides good
evidence of a category 1 predator, most likely a barn owl, as the predator of the bone assemblage. Trampling
and sediment compression might influence postdepositional breakage of the bones. This study is especially
relevant since previous taphonomic analyses carried out at levels above and below this sample led to
inconclusive results due to a low number of fossils (Fernández-Jalvo et al., 1998). The new sample provides
new information to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental context in which early hominins inhabited.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Olduvai Bed-I; Small mammals; Taphonomy; Palaeoenvironment
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:14576
Deposited On:17 Feb 2012 12:15
Last Modified:17 Feb 2012 12:15

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