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Cenozoic Mammals of Africa$
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Lars Werdelin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257214

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257214.001.0001

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(p.685) Thirty-Five Equidae
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Raymond L. Bernor

Miranda J. Armour-Chelu

Henry Gilbert

Thomas M. Kaiser

Ellen Schulz

University of California Press

Representatives of the Equidae in Africa are known from localities of late Miocene to Recent age, approximately 10.5 Ma to the present. Three-toed equids of the tribe Hipparionini first occur in the early late Miocene, and persist to about 0.5 Ma. The first appearance of the genus Equus in eastern Africa is in the Omo Shungura sequence (lower Member G), ca. 2.33 Ma. The Eurasian genus Cremohipparion apparently made a successful range extension into northern Africa during the later portion of the late Miocene, while Hipparion s.s. may also occur at Sahabi. Eurygnathohippus is a genus of African Hipparionini that first appear in the late Miocene Nawata Formation, Kenya, and successfully spread throughout nontropical forest Africa in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Equidae. It follows Churcher and Richardson (1978) closely in taxonomic allocation of African species of Equus and adopts Groves (2002) in general for the systematics of extant African Equus species. It also provides an update on the dietary behavior of extant zebras and emergent work on African hipparion paleodiet.

Keywords:   Equus, paleontology, Equidae, Africa, Miocene, equids, Hipparionini, paleodiet, zebras, Cremohipparion

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