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Title: Hippopotamus gorgops from El Kherba (Algeria) and the context of its biogeography
Authors: Made, Jan van der
Sahnouni, Mohamed
Boulaghraief, Kamel
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: CENIEH
Citation: II Meeting of African Prehistory, 2015, p. 38
Abstract: Excavations at the site of El Kherba (El Eulma, northeastern Algeria) have yield Hippopotamus fossils, including a skull assigned to Hippopotamus gorgops. This species was already known and documented in the nearby locality of Ain Hanech, which is the same age as El Kherba. The Hippopotamidae originated in sub-Saharan Africa, where they reached their major diversity, with five or six coeval species being common during the Plio-Pleistocene. From there they dispersed towards North Africa and Europe, and East into the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. The first dispersal into Europe took place during the latest Miocene, about 6Ma ago, but was short lived. During the Pleistocene, several other dispersals occurred. There is discussion on the systematic of European Hippopotamus is North Africa. The known diversity of hippopotamuses in North Africa is much lower than in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, the North African and European record of Hippopotamus will be compared and the possible relationships discussed. The dispersal of Hippopotamus into Europe has often been related to human dispersal. One of the dispersals seems to have close to the arrival of the first humans there, but no likely causal relationship has ever been identified. Instead, the dispersal of hippos across the Sahara towards North Africa could prove to be related to periods of increased humidity, when lakes and rivers were larger. The same environments, which allowed hippos to disperse northward, may have allowed more intensive faunal exchange, including human northward expansions.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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