Antoine Louchart

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The search for the earliest fossil evidence of the human lineage has been concentrated in East Africa. Here we report the discovery of six hominid specimens from Chad, central Africa, 2,500 km from the East African Rift Valley. The fossils include a nearly complete cranium and fragmentary lower jaws. The associated fauna suggest the fossils are between 6(More)
The origin of Australopithecus, the genus widely interpreted as ancestral to Homo, is a central problem in human evolutionary studies. Australopithecus species differ markedly from extant African apes and candidate ancestral hominids such as Ardipithecus, Orrorin and Sahelanthropus. The earliest described Australopithecus species is Au. anamensis, the(More)
Thousands of vertebrate specimens were systematically collected from the stratigraphic interval containing Ardipithecus ramidus. The carcasses of larger mammals were heavily ravaged by carnivores. Nearly 10,000 small-mammal remains appear to be derived primarily from decomposed owl pellets. The rich avifauna includes at least 29 species, mostly nonaquatic(More)
The feeding apparatus of Paleogene birds is rarely well-preserved. Here, we describe the earliest known pelican (early Oligocene, Luberon, southeastern France), with its almost complete beak. Morphologically identical to modern pelicans, the new fossil already shows several advanced features unique to extant species of the genus Pelecanus. It probably(More)
In zoological nomenclature, to be potentially valid, nomenclatural novelties (i.e., new nomina and nomenclatural acts) need first to be made available, that is, published in works qualifying as publications as defined by the International Code of zoological Nomenclature ("the Code"). In September 2012, the Code was amended in order to allow the recognition(More)
The Kibish Formation has yielded a small collection of bird fossils, which are identified here as belonging to five species in four different families: Pelecanidae (pelicans), Anhingidae (darters), Ardeidae (herons) and Phasianidae (gamefowl). Two species of pelicans are identified: Pelecanus cf. P. onocrotalus, and P. aff. P. rufescens. The darter is(More)
Hummingbirds (Trochilidae) today have an exclusively New World distribution, but their pre-Pleistocene fossil record comes from Europe only. In this study, we describe an exceptionally preserved fossil hummingbird from the early Oligocene of southeastern France. The specimen is articulated, with a completely preserved beak and feathering. Osteological(More)
Recently Angst et al. (2011) proposed a new mean body mass estimate for the dodo (Raphus cucullatus), of Mauritius Island, 10.2 kg, which is at the lower end of previous estimated intervals such as Kitchener's (1993). We question both their methods and results and propose a revised estimated interval. Angst et al. (2011) used the lengths of the hindlimb(More)
During modern birds history, climatic and environmental conditions have evolved on wide scales. In a continuously changing world, landbirds annual migrations emerged and developed. However, models accounting for the origins of these avian migrations were formulated with static ecogeographic perspectives. Here I reviewed Cenozoic paleoclimatic and(More)