Botanical remains from a coprolite from the Pleistocene hominin site of Malapa, Sterkfontein Valley, South Africa

Bamford, M.K., Neumann, F.H., Pereira, L.M., Scott, L., Dirks, P.H.G.M., and Berger, L.R. (2010) Botanical remains from a coprolite from the Pleistocene hominin site of Malapa, Sterkfontein Valley, South Africa. Palaeontologia Africana, 45. pp. 23-28.

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Abstract

A coprolite probably from a carnivore described in this paper was recovered from the decalcified sediments of Facies D, close to the cranium of a hominid child, Australopithecus sediba, at Malapa, and is dated at 1.95–1.78 Ma based on a combination of faunal, U-Pb and palaeomagnetic dating techniques. Maceration of the coprolite yieldedwoodfragments and pollen of Podocarpus sp. as well as phytolith morphotypes that occur in leaves of Podocarpus and many other woody taxa. The Malapa site today is in the Grassland Biome, close to the transition to the Savanna Biome. Podocarpus/Afrocarpus occurs about 30km distance in the NorthernAfromontane Forest Biome and is restricted to small patches in the mountain kloofs or small canyons (altitude: 1500–1900 m). The occurrence of this vegetation at Malapa in the past implies that the cooler, moister forest vegetation was more widespread.

Item ID: 15774
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Podocarpus, pollen, wood, phytoliths
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ISSN: 0078-8554
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2011 04:06
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology) @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040605 Palaeoclimatology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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