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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
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Les rongeurs du site Pliocène à Hominidés de Hadar (Ethiope)
Maurice Sabatier
Keywords: Ethiopia; hominids; Muridae; Pliocene

    The intensive exploration of the Pliocene Hadar Formation, rich in hominid remains, led us to the discovery of several micromammals levels. ln some of them, rodents are very abundant. The stratigraphic repartition of these levels do not cover the whole fossiliferous series of the formation but takes place only in the sedimentary members from Sidi Hakoma and Denen-Dora (rancing from 3.1 - 3.2 MY to 2.8 - 2.9 MY, according to the recent geochronological data). During this gap of time, the species do not show morphological changes, what allowed us to gather, in the same taxa, forms of slighty different ages.
    Two striking facts, giving a lot of indications, characterize these small rodents'faunas. First, we notice the domination of the Muridae, as well on a qualitative way (number of species) as on a quantitative one (number of individuals). Then, it appears that, until now, two genera of these murids were known only in the south-western asiatic regions. So, we can suppose continuous biotops between Africa and Indian Subcontinent before 3 MY. In this hypothesis, the hominids had already the possibility to leave their african « cradle ››. Finally, almost all studied genera are still represented at the present time. This fact, previously observed in Laetolil, Omo, Olduvai contributes to remove hope of establishing a biochronological scale based on rodents, in tropical zone. Nethertheless, that allows to try a reconstruction of the palaeoenvironnement, by using the principle of actualism.

  Article infos

Published in Vol. 12, Fasc. 1 (1982)