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      Olduvai's oldest Oldowan

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          Taphonomic and ecologic information from bone weathering

          Bones of recent mammals in the Amboseli Basin, southern Kenya, exhibit distinctive weathering characteristics that can be related to the time since death and to the local conditions of temperature, humidity and soil chemistry. A categorization of weathering characteristics into six stages, recognizable on descriptive criteria, provides a basis for investigation of weathering rates and processes. The time necessary to achieve each successive weathering stage has been calibrated using known-age carcasses. Most bones decompose beyond recognition in 10 to 15 yr. Bones of animals under 100 kg and juveniles appear to weather more rapidly than bones of large animals or adults. Small-scale rather than widespread environmental factors seem to have greatest influence on weathering characteristics and rates. Bone weathering is potentially valuable as evidence for the period of time represented in recent or fossil bone assemblages, including those on archeological sites, and may also be an important tool in censusing populations of animals in modern ecosystems.
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            A long-term numerical solution for the insolation quantities of the Earth

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              Plio-Pleistocene African climate.

              Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Journal of Human Evolution
                Journal of Human Evolution
                Elsevier BV
                00472484
                January 2021
                January 2021
                : 150
                : 102910
                Article
                10.1016/j.jhevol.2020.102910
                a4281b6c-aa12-44c7-8df5-7711acf5546f
                © 2021

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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