Fossil Mammals and Paleoenvironments in the Omo-Turkana Basin


  • René Bobe

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    • The author is Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University. His research focuses on fossil mammals providing long-term records of the ecological and environmental context of human evolution in Africa. He has active field projects in the Dikika area of Ethiopia and the Omo-Turkana Basin of Ethiopia and Kenya.


Although best known for its fossil hominins, the Omo-Turkana Basin of Kenya and Ethiopia is the source of one of the best records of vertebrate evolution from the Late Cenozoic of Africa. Located near the heart of the East African Rift Valley, the basin serves as an important frame of reference for the continent. The fossil record from this region plays a key role in our efforts to understand the environmental and ecological context of human evolution in Africa. The Omo-Turkana faunal data shed light on key questions of human evolution: What kinds of environments did early humans inhabit? How did these environments change over time? What is the relationship between faunal change in East Africa and broader patterns of climatic change? © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.