Research Article

Late Pliocene Faunal Turnover in the Turkana Basin, Kenya and Ethiopia

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Science  28 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5343, pp. 1589-1594
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5343.1589

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Analysis of a large sample of well-dated fossil mammals from localities in the Turkana Basin of Kenya and Ethiopia revealed sampling biases that affect patterns of faunal turnover during the late Pliocene. When these biases were accounted for, results indicated that 58 to 77 percent of the mammal species were replaced between 3.0 and 1.8 million years ago (Ma). Overall diversity increased from 3.0 to 2.0 Ma but then declined. No distinct turnover pulse is seen between 2.8 and 2.5 Ma; instead, the most significant period of faunal change began after 2.5 Ma and continued through 1.8 Ma.

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