Suid evolution and correlation of African hominid localities

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Science  07 Oct 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4312, pp. 13-21
DOI: 10.1126/science.331477


Recently discovered Plio-Pleistocene vertebrate assemblages have allowed complete systematic revision of the sub-Saharan African Suidae. New phylogenies are proposed for the 7 genera and 16 species of fossil and extant representatives. Suids are common elements of African Plio-Pleistocene faunas, and their evolutionary trends, particularly in the species Mesochoerus limnetes and Metridiochoerus andrewsi, are of great correlative value. Suid data are employed in a refinement of stratigraphic correlations at Omo Shungura, Olduvai, and east of Lake Turkana (formerly East Rudolf) and in a correlation of East African and South African sites, with important implications for interpretation of hominid evolution. The suid record also bears significantly on questions of theoretical evolutionary biology.