Terry Harrison

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The small sample of fossil orycteropodids (n = 27) available from the Laetolil Beds at Laetoli consists of isolated postcranials and a few cranio-dental specimens. The material can all be attributed to a single species of the genus Orycteropus. The Laetoli aardvark is generally similar in morphology to the extant O. afer, but differs in being smaller and in having a more gracile postcranial skeleton. The material is also distinguishable from O. abundulafus and O. djourabensis from the late Miocene and early Pliocene of Chad. Given its unique combination of features, the orycteropodid from Laetoli very likely represents a distinct species, but the material is not adequate to designate a new taxon. However, the evidence indicates that there was a greater diversity of aardvarks in the Pliocene of East Africa than is currently recognized.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationPaleontology and Geology of Laetoli
    Subtitle of host publicationHuman Evolution in Context
    Number of pages12
    Volume2. Fossil Hominins and the Associated Fauna
    StatePublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
    ISSN (Print)1877-9077


    • Aardvarks
    • Laetoli
    • Laetolil beds
    • Orycteropus
    • Pliocene
    • Tubulidentata

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Palaeontology


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