A reassessment of the Bovidae (Mammalia) from the Nawata Formation of Lothagam, Kenya, and the late Miocene diversification of the family in Africa

2017-12-11T17:43:57Z (GMT) by Denis Geraads
<p>The late Miocene Bovidae from the Nawata Formation of Lothagam were all assigned to modern tribes by Harris (2003), with the majority of specimens being referred to a species of <i>Aepyceros</i>, a genus that includes the modern impala. However, an alternative interpretation of the collection lessens the modern character of the faunal composition. Many of the identifications are revised: there might be a single species of Boselaphini, there is no evidence of Hippotragini, and <i>Aepyceros</i> is less common than previously thought. Two new genera, <i>Afrotragus</i> and <i>Turkanatragus</i>, are erected; together with an unnamed species and ‘<i>Kobus</i>’ <i>laticornis</i> Harris, 2003, they cannot easily be allocated to any existing tribe. These two new genera share long, slender, spiralled horn-cores, and it is conceivable that they belong to the same group, which might also include the ‘<i>Prostrepsiceros’</i> from Sahabi, Libya, but does not seem closely related to Eurasian <i>Prostrepsiceros</i>. Along with sparser evidence from elsewhere in Africa, this strongly suggests that by the late Miocene, African Bovidae underwent a wider radiation than reflected in the tribes that survived into the Pliocene, showing that the crown groups very incompletely document the relatively recent past diversity of the family.</p> <p><a href="http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:9865FA15-7BFB-4B7E-A01F-714B94351D6D" target="_blank">http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:9865FA15-7BFB-4B7E-A01F-714B94351D6D</a></p>