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Amphibians from the Acheulean site at Duinefontein 2 (Western Cape, South Africa)

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
30
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0305-4403(02)00201-7
Keywords
  • Amphibians
  • Xenopus
  • Ranids
  • Taphonomy
  • Mid-Pleistocene
  • Acheulean
  • South Africa

Abstract

Abstract Abundant amphibian remains were encountered at Duinefontein 2, a late mid-Quaternary fossil site with Acheulean artifacts. The amphibians are distributed in concentric bands that suggest shoreline lags around the southeast rim of an interdunal pond, part of which has been exposed by very extensive excavations. The pond community was dominated by ranids and pipids, both requiring less than a meter depth of open water. Burrowing species such as toads, rain frogs, and sand frogs were present but rare, as were reed frogs. This suggests a thin rim of damp but poorly vegetated sand. Frequency and size changes suggest that the pond became shallower at a time when large mammal remains were proliferating on the adjacent land surface. The evolutionary status of the eight recovered amphibian taxa cannot be addressed since the osteology of most of their modern analogs still awaits systematic study.

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