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Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem

Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem

Chapter:
(p.47) Three Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem
Source:
Serengeti III
Author(s):
Charles R. PetersRobert J. BlumenschineRichard L. HayDaniel A. LivingstoneCurtis W. MareanTerry HarrisonMiranda Armour-CheluPeter AndrewsRaymond L. BernorRaymonde BonnefilleLars Werdelin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226760353.003.0003

This chapter considers three aspects of the evolution of the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem, focusing on the possible origins of a broadscale migratory system. Firstly, it examines the geoecology of the system, including the evolution of the eastern plain, the wet-season pasture of the wildebeest and zebra today, and the Mara River and Lake Victoria as potential drought refugia. Secondly, it sketches the evolution of large mammals, especially the larger herbivores and carnivores. Thirdly, it assesses the hominin factor, the use of the system by prehistoric hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, and the more dramatic historical human impacts.

Keywords:   migratory system, geoecology, eastern plain, wildebeest, zebra, Mara River, Lake Victoria, large mammals, hominin

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