Fossil Tragelaphini (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) from the Late Pliocene Hadar Formation, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia


The fossil tragelaphins from the late Pliocene of Hadar are described. These are Tragelaphus lockwoodi, new species, and Tragelaphus aff. T. nakuae. Tragelaphus lockwoodi bears long horns that define one complete spiral and that are mediolaterally compressed at the base. In these and other morphological characteristics it approaches the greater kudu, T. strepsiceros, and makes a good ancestral candidate for this living species. The Hadar T. aff. T. nakuae is similar to other specimens of this species from sites >2.8 Ma in East Africa and demonstrates well the major differences between the earlier and later representatives of this taxon. The sizes and morphological variation in the large Hadar T. aff. T. nakuae sample supports the idea that female individuals of this species were horned as is the case today in the elands and the bongo. Tragelaphus lockwoodi is present only in the lower beds of the Hadar Formation, and in small numbers, while T. aff. T. nakuae is recovered in relative abundance from throughout the ca. 3.4-ca. 2.9 Ma sequence.

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Correspondence to Kaye E. Reed.

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Reed, K.E., Bibi, F. Fossil Tragelaphini (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) from the Late Pliocene Hadar Formation, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia. J Mammal Evol 18, 57–69 (2011).

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  • Tragelaphini
  • Tragelaphus lockwoodi
  • Tragelaphus nakuae
  • Morphological variation