Chapter

Chronology of Paleogene Mammal Localities

Erik R. Seiffert

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0002
Chronology of Paleogene Mammal Localities

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The Afro-Arabian fossil record of Paleogene evolution of mammals is poor compared with those from northern continents, but it is steadily improving. Age constraints on early African mammal localities have also been historically very poor, and this problem has allowed for remarkably different chronological interpretations. The quality of the Paleogene record is best in its later third, thanks to decades of work in the late Eocene (Priabonian) and early Oligocene (Rupelian) deposits of northern Egypt. Recent paleontological exploration in other parts of Africa, combined with reanalysis of chronological data from Egypt and Oman, has helped to make the Oligocene the most thoroughly sampled Paleogene epoch on the continent. Mammalian fossils from the earliest Eocene, and the early-middle Eocene boundary, are also being actively augmented by ongoing work, but there remains a large gap in the Afro-Arabian record during the Lutetian-Bartonian (between 45 and 37 Ma), and there are no placental-bearing localities on the landmass that are older than late Paleocene.

Keywords: Africa; fossils; Paleogene; evolution; mammals; Eocene; Oligocene; localities; Egypt; Oman

Chapter.  6714 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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