U–Pb-dated flowstones restrict South African early hominin record to dry climate phases

  title={U–Pb-dated flowstones restrict South African early hominin record to dry climate phases},
  author={Robyn Pickering and Andy I. R. Herries and Jon D. Woodhead and John C. Hellstrom and Helen Green and Bence Paul and Terrence Bradley Ritzman and David S. Strait and Benjamin J. Schoville and Phillip J. Hancox},
The Cradle of Humankind (Cradle) in South Africa preserves a rich collection of fossil hominins representing Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo1. The ages of these fossils are contentious2–4 and have compromised the degree to which the South African hominin record can be used to test hypotheses of human evolution. However, uranium–lead (U–Pb) analyses of horizontally bedded layers of calcium carbonate (flowstone) provide a potential opportunity to obtain a robust chronology5. Flowstones… 

Environmental drivers of megafauna and hominin extinction in Southeast Asia.

A large-scale dataset of stable isotope data for Southeast Asian mammals that spans the Quaternary period is presented, demonstrating that the forests of the Early Pleistocene had given way to savannahs by the Middle pleistocene, which led to the spread of grazers and extinction of browsers-although geochronological limitations mean that not all samples can be resolved to glacial or interglacial periods.

Contemporaneity of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo erectus in South Africa

The age confirms that species of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo overlapped in the karst of South Africa ∼2 million years ago and establishes these fossils as the oldest definitive specimens of their respective species ever discovered.

Biochronology of South African hominin-bearing sites: A reassessment using cercopithecid primates.

Despite recent advances in chronometric techniques (e.g., Uranium-Lead [U-Pb], cosmogenic nuclides, electron spin resonance spectroscopy [ESR]), considerable uncertainty remains regarding the age of

Complexities of assessing palaeocave stratigraphy: reconstructing site formation of the ∼2.61 Ma Drimolen Makondo fossil site

Contextual data presented within this study, testifies to a relatively rapid infill with greater fluvial activity when compared to adjacent deposits at the younger ∼2.04–1.95 Ma Drimolen Main Quarry.

A Window into Africa’s Past Hydroclimates: The SISAL_v1 Database Contribution

Africa spans the hemispheres from temperate region to temperate region and has a long history of hominin evolution. Although the number of Quaternary palaeoclimatic records from the continent is

Drimolen cranium DNH 155 documents microevolution in an early hominin species

An approximately 2-million-year-old male Paranthropus robustus cranium from Drimolen Main Quarry in South Africa refutes influential ideas of sexual dimorphism in this taxon and instead suggests local microevolution within robust australopiths.



Influence of Plio-Pleistocene aridification on human evolution: evidence from paleosols of the Turkana Basin, Kenya.

  • J. Wynn
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2004
The hypothesis that hominins evolved in savanna mosaics that changed through time, and suggest that the evolution of bovids and hom inins was driven by shifts in climatic instability and habitat variability, both diachronic and synchronic, is supported.

Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa

Two partial skeletons of a new species of Australopithecus, about 1.9 million years old, are described, which imply that the transition to Homo was in stages and shows many derived features with Homo, helping to reveal its evolution.

New cosmogenic burial ages for Sterkfontein Member 2 Australopithecus and Member 5 Oldowan

The isochron burial dating with cosmogenic aluminium-26 and beryllium-10 is used to show that the breccia containing StW 573 did not undergo significant reworking, and that it was deposited 3.67 ± 0.16 million years ago, far earlier than the 2.2 million year flowstones found within it.

Palaeomagnetic analysis of the Sterkfontein palaeocave deposits: implications for the age of the hominin fossils and stone tool industries.