Profound early hominid discoveries in South and East Africa have made the geographic center between them - southeast Africa (Malawi, southern Tanzania, Mozambique, southern Zaire, Zambia, northern Zimbabwe) - conspicuous. HCRP research on the Malawi Rift and its paleofaunas has provided knowledge of the continuity and partitioning of the geological and biological realms within this vast region and has resulted in the first early hominid specimen recovered from southeast Africa (attributed to Homo rudolfensis). The emerging picture is that the Malawi Rift was part of an ecological corridor continuous with the East African Rift Valley system, but that connections to the southern ecological domain were more limited. Important questions to be addressed with our geological and paleobiological research concern hypotheses regarding early hominid speciation and dispersion in relation to climate change, habitat (dis)continuity, and geographical attributes of the African Rift Valley.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)