978-0-19-506002-7 / 0195060024

Miocene Paleosols and Ape Habitats in Pakistan and Kenya (Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics)

by Retallack, Gregory J.

Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA



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About the book:

In this book, the habitats of our apelike ancestors of the Miocene epoch -- some 7 to 20 million years ago -- are re-examined from the perspective of knowledge yielded by the buried fossil soils in which they have been found. Fossilized soils, or paleosols, are distinctive layers within a sedimentary or volcanic sequence, and they also can be clues to former ecosystems and other aspects of paleoenvironments. Here the author characterizes in detail some 20 kinds of paleosols from the Kenyan and Pakistani localities for the dryopithicane and ramapithicine apes made famous by L.S.B. Leakey and D.R. Pilbeam. The extensive evidence cited allows for the reassessment of vegetation and landscape features of ancient tropical sites that are the source of much of what is known about our remote Miocene ancestors. The text also provides a basis for understanding paleosols formed in all tropical climates and alluvial settings, and offers a model for future research on human evolution and major events in the geological history of soils. It is a valuable resource for paleontologists, anthropologists, and soil scientists.

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