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Nature. 2002 Jul 11;418(6894):152-5.

Geology and palaeontology of the Upper Miocene Toros-Menalla hominid locality, Chad.

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1
Faculté des Sciences et Centre National de Recherche Scientifique UMR 6046, Université de Poitiers, 40 Avenue du Recteur Pineau, 86022 Poitiers Cedex, France. patrick.vignaud@univ-poitiers.fr

Abstract

All six known specimens of the early hominid Sahelanthropus tchadensis come from Toros-Menalla site 266 (TM 266), a single locality in the Djurab Desert, northern Chad, central Africa. Here we present a preliminary analysis of the palaeontological and palaeoecological context of these finds. The rich fauna from TM 266 includes a significant aquatic component such as fish, crocodiles and amphibious mammals, alongside animals associated with gallery forest and savannah, such as primates, rodents, elephants, equids and bovids. The fauna suggests a biochronological age between 6 and 7 million years. Taken together with the sedimentological evidence, the fauna suggests that S. tchadensis lived close to a lake, but not far from a sandy desert, perhaps the oldest record of desert conditions in the Neogene of northern central Africa.

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PMID:
12110881
DOI:
10.1038/nature00880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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