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Title: A Pleistocene assemblage of near-modern Papio hamadryas from the Middle Awash study area, Afar Rift, Ethiopia
Authors: Brasil, Marianne F.
Monson, Tesla A.
Taylor, Catherine E.
Yohler, Ryan M.
Hlusko, Leslea J.
Keywords: Cercopithecid evolution;Ghost population;Hybridization;Papio taxonomy;Papionin fossil record
Issue Date: Jan-2023
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 2023, 180(1), 48-76
Abstract: Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess a new assemblage of papionin fossils (n = 143) recovered from later Pleistocene sediments in the Middle Awash study area in the Afar Rift of Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: We collected metric and qualitative data to compare the craniodental and postcranial anatomy of the papionin fossils with subspecies of modern Papio hamadryas and with Plio-Pleistocene African papionins. We also estimated sex and ontogenetic age. Results: The new fossils fit well within the range of morphological variation observed for extant P. hamadryas, overlapping most closely in dental size and proportions with the P. h. cynocephalus individuals in our extant samples, and well within the ranges of P. h. anubis and P. h. hamadryas. The considerable overlap in craniodental anatomy with multiple subspecies precludes subspecific diagnosis. We therefore referred 143 individuals to P. hamadryas ssp. The majority of the individuals assessed for ontogenetic age fell into middle- and old-adult age categories based on the degree of dental wear. Males (26%) were better represented than females (12%) among individuals preserving the canine-premolar honing complex. Discussion: These new near-modern P. hamadryas fossils provide a window into population-level variation in the later Pleistocene. Our findings echo previous suggestions from genomic studies that the papionin family tree may have included a ghost population and provide a basis for future testing of hypotheses regarding hybridization in the recent evolutionary history of this taxon.
ISSN: 2692-7691
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24634
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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