This volume, the first in a series devoted to the paleoanthropological resources of the Middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia, includes Homo erectus, a close relative of Homo sapiens. Written by a team of highly regarded scholars, this book provides the first detailed descriptions, photographs, and analysis of the fossil vertebrates - from elephants and hyenas to humans - from the Daka Member of the Bouri Formation of the Afar, a place renowned for an abundant and lengthy record of human ancestors. These fossils contribute to our understanding human evolution, and the associated fauna provide new information about the distribution and variability of Pleistocene mammals in eastern Africa.
The contributors are all active researchers who worked on the paleontology and geology of these unique deposits. Here they have combined their disparate efforts into a single volume, making the original research results accessible to both the specialist and the general reader. The volume synthesizes environmental backdrop and anatomical detail to open an unparalleled window on the African Pleistocene and its inhabitants.
Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Geology and Geochronology Chapter 3. Bovidae Chapter 4. Carnivora Chapter 5. Cercopithecidae Chapter 6. Equidae Chapter 7. Giraffidae Chapter 8. Hippopotamidae Chapter 9. Elephantidae Chapter 10. Rhinocerotidae Chapter 11. Suidae Chapter 12. Rare Taxa Chapter 13. Homo erectus Cranial Anatomy Chapter 14. Tomographic Analysis of the Daka Calvaria Chapter 15. Hominid Systematics Chapter 16. Daka Member Hominid Postcranial Remains Chapter 17. Ecological and Biogeographic Context of the Daka Member Chapter 18. Conclusions: Evolutionary Insights from the Daka Member Bibliography
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W. Henry Gilbert is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at California State University, East Bay, and is Assistant Researcher at the Human Evolution Research Center, University of California, Berkeley. Berhane Asfaw is codirector of the Middle Awash research project and operates the Rift Valley Research Service in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.