Daniel J. Peppe

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• Paleobotanists have long used models based on leaf size and shape to reconstruct paleoclimate. However, most models incorporate a single variable or use traits that are not physiologically or functionally linked to climate, limiting their predictive power. Further, they often underestimate paleotemperature relative to other proxies. • Here we quantify(More)
Western Kenya is well known for abundant early Miocene hominoid fossils. However, the Wasiriya Beds of Rusinga Island, Kenya, preserve a Pleistocene sedimentary archive with radiocarbon age estimates of >33-45 ka that contains Middle Stone Age artifacts and abundant, well-preserved fossil fauna: a co-occurrence rare in eastern Africa, particularly in the(More)
[1] Estimates of paleoelevation potentially constrain geodynamic models of continental deformation and inform interpretations of landscape and climate evolution. One widely used, paleobotanical approach reconstructs paleoelevation from the difference in estimated atmospheric enthalpy between a known sea level and a targeted, coeval, elevated fossil floral(More)
The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes are the largest extant vertebrate radiation identified to date. These lakes and their surrounding waters support over 2,000 species of cichlid fish, many of which are descended from a single common ancestor within the past 10 Ma. The extraordinary East African cichlid diversity is intricately linked to the(More)
Early Miocene fossils from Rusinga Island, Kenya, provide some of the best evidence for catarrhine evolution and diversification, and, together with more than eighty-five other mammalian species, form an important comparative reference for understanding faunal succession in East Africa. While there is consensus over the stratigraphic position of most of(More)
Paleoanthropologists have long argued that environmental pressures played a key role in human evolution. However, our understanding of how these pressures mediated the behavioral and biological diversity of early modern humans and their migration patterns within and out of Africa is limited by a lack of archaeological evidence associated with detailed(More)
Many key aspects of early angiosperms are poorly known, including their ecophysiology and associated habitats. Evidence for fast-growing, weedy angiosperms comes from the Early Cretaceous Potomac Group, where angiosperm fossils, some of them putative herbs, are found in riparian depositional settings. However, inferences of growth rate from sedimentology(More)
a Hominid Paleobiology Doctoral Program, CASHP, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University, 2110 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA b Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USA c Center for the Study of Human Origins, Department of Anthropology,(More)
PREMISE OF THE STUDY Leaf-margin state (toothed vs. untoothed) forms the basis of several popular methods for reconstructing temperature. Some potential confounding factors have not been investigated with large data sets, limiting our understanding of the adaptive significance of leaf teeth and their reliability to reconstruct paleoclimate. Here we test the(More)
Non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, geologically coincident with the impact of a large bolide (comet or asteroid) during an interval of massive volcanic eruptions and changes in temperature and sea level. There has long been fervent debate about how these events affected dinosaurs. We review a wealth of new data accumulated over the past(More)