Paleontological localities on the eyasi plateau, including laetoli

Terry Harrison, Amandus Kweka

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Sixty paleontological localities are recorded at Laetoli and other areas on the Eyasi Plateau. These include several new localities at Laetoli, and many newly designated localities in the Kakesio and Esere-Noiti areas to the south and southwest of Laetoli. Descriptions of the locations, stratigraphic context and paleontological significance of each locality are presented. The Laetoli localities have produced a rich assemblage of fossils from the Pliocene-aged Upper Laetolil Beds and Upper Ndolanya Beds. The most productive localities are Localities 2, 10E and 18, which have each yielded more than 2,000 fossil mammals since 1974. In addition, smaller samples of fossil vertebrates and stone artifacts have been recovered from the Pleistocene Olpiro and Ngaloba Beds. Fossil hominins are presently known only from localities at Laetoli. The Upper Laetolil Beds have yielded the remains of Australopithecus afarensis, and tracks of fossilized footprints of hominins, presumably of A. afarensis, are known from Locality 8 (Footprint Site G). Three new specimens of A. afarensis have been recovered from Laetoli since 1998, and the provenance of these specimens is described here. In addition, fossil hominin specimens have been recovered from the Upper Ndolanya Beds for the first time. A cranium of an archaic form of Homo sapiens is known from the Upper Ngaloba Beds at Locality 2. Localities in the Kakesio area and the Esere-Noiti area have yielded relatively small, but important, collections of fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants from the Lower Laetolil Beds. No hominins have yet been recovered from this stratigraphic unit, although it is possible that they may be discovered in the future with more intensive collecting and surveying.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationPaleontology and Geology of Laetoli
    Subtitle of host publicationHuman Evolution in Context
    Number of pages29
    Volume1: Geology, Geochronology, Paleoecology and Paleoenvironment
    StatePublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
    ISSN (Print)1877-9077


    • Emboremony
    • Esere
    • Fossil vertebrates
    • Gadjingero
    • Garusi
    • Hominins
    • Kakesio
    • Laetolil beds
    • Ndolanya beds
    • Ngaloba beds
    • Noiti

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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