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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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Mammal Species Richness in Africa

Mammal Species Richness in Africa

(p.921) Forty-Seven Mammal Species Richness in Africa
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Peter Andrews

Eileen M. O’Brien

University of California Press

The distribution and diversity of mammals across Africa have long been attributed to differences in vegetation or climate. In southern Africa, variability in woody plant species richness alone accounts for 75 percent of the variability in mammal species richness. The ecological categories by which mammal richness has been analyzed include size (body weight), dietary guild (primary diet), and space occupied (locomotor adaptations). This chapter discusses the results of a study designed to describe present-day patterns in mammal richness across Africa, in terms of both mammals in general and between ecologically meaningful subsets of mammals, and to compare these patterns with those for Africa's vegetation, woody plant richness, annual rainfall, and topography. The study also evaluated data quality and tested the implications of variations in mammal richness arising from the southern Africa study.

Keywords:   Africa, mammals, species richness, distribution, diversity, vegetation, climate, body weight, dietary guild, topography

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