Biogeographic relationships of African carnivoran faunas, 7–1.2 Ma


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 7 (8) - Pages 645-656

Published on 31 December 2008

This article is a part of the thematic issue African Carnivora from the Middle Miocene to the Pleistocene: New data, systematics, evolution, biogeography

This study analyses the carnivore component of African fossil faunas from three time slices: 7–5 Ma, 4–3 Ma, and 2.5–1.2 Ma, using cluster analysis and principal coordinate analysis (PCO) of presence/absence data on genera. The faunas mostly cluster by time slice, with the exception of Laetoli (Tanzania) and Ahl al Oughlam (Morocco), which differ from all other faunas. The separation during the Late Miocene of a Chado–Libyan bioprovince from the remainder of Africa is supported. No such distinctions are present in the other time slices. Taxonomic distance is not generally correlated with geographic distance, though if Langebaanweg is removed from the 7–5 Ma time slice, the correlation at that time is significant. Comparison of these paleontological results with phylogeographic studies of modern species leads to some general comments on the analytic power of the fossil record with regard to interregional migrations.


Carnivora, Africa, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Phylogeography, Migration

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint