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Relative scavenging opportunities for East and South African plio-Pleistocene hominids

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0305-4403(88)90068-4
Keywords
  • Scavenging
  • Plio-Pleistocene Hominids
  • Carnivores
  • Bone Damage

Abstract

Abstract Comparisons of Lower Pleistocene large ungulate and carnivore faunas in East and South Africa suggest that the scavenging opportunities for hominids were significantly greater in East Africa at that time. A less diverse large ungulate fauna in South Africa, comprising species of smaller average size, was exploited by a larger number of carcass-destroying carnivores. The availability of scavengeable resources is therefore likely to have been considerably reduced in that area. There are, however, indications that greater opportunities for scavenging existed in South Africa during the mid-Pliocene, although it remains unclear whether hominids of that time could have exploited them successfully.

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