Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem

Charles R. Peters, Robert J. Blumenschine, Richard L. Hay, Daniel A. Livingstone, Curtis W. Marean, Terry Harrison, Miranda Armour-Chelu, Peter Andrews, Raymond L. Bernor, Raymonde Bonnefille and Lars Werdelin

in Serengeti III

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226760339
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226760353 | DOI:
Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem

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This chapter considers three aspects of the evolution of the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem, focusing on the possible origins of a broadscale migratory system. Firstly, it examines the geoecology of the system, including the evolution of the eastern plain, the wet-season pasture of the wildebeest and zebra today, and the Mara River and Lake Victoria as potential drought refugia. Secondly, it sketches the evolution of large mammals, especially the larger herbivores and carnivores. Thirdly, it assesses the hominin factor, the use of the system by prehistoric hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, and the more dramatic historical human impacts.

Keywords: migratory system; geoecology; eastern plain; wildebeest; zebra; Mara River; Lake Victoria; large mammals; hominin

Chapter.  19644 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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