Paleoecology of the Malawi Rift: Vertebrate and invertebrate faunal contexts of the Chiwondo Beds, northern Malawi

Friedemann Schrenk, Timothy G. Bromage, Albrecht Gorthner, Oliver Sandrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Plio-Pleistocene Chiwondo Beds of Northern Malawi have yielded molluscs and fragmented remains of fish, turtles, crocodiles and large mammals. Destructive taphonomic processes due perhaps to the reworking of bones in beach environments and recent erosional processes has led to extensive deterioration of fossil material. Micro vertebrates and carnivores are virtually unrepresented in the assemblage. The fossil sample is insufficient for a reconstruction of palcocommunity structure, but has sufficient bovids to make a general statement of the ecology of the Chiwondo Beds. A further ecological interpretation of the paleolake Malawi is based on a comparative analogue developed from actualistic studies. The general ecological setting of the Malawi Rift during the Late Pliocene was a mosaic environment including open and closed, city and wet habitats, and which harbored a small and ecologically unstable palcolake Malawi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Malawi
  • Paleoecology
  • Plio-Pleistocene
  • Taphonomy
  • Vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

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