Facts and Fallacies Concerning Miocene Ape Habitats

  • A. Kortlandt
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


In recent years a controversy has arisen concerning the East African landscape and vegetation in the time range from about 23 to about 16 million years ago (m.y.a.), i.e., in the early Miocene. Until a few years ago there was no such difference of opinion. It was generally accepted that the fossil ape habitats were characterized by a mosaic landscape consisting of woodlands and savannas interlaced with broad riverine forests and valley forests, alternating with rain forests and mountain forests on the slopes of ridges and mountains, and with grass plains on periodically inundated grounds. This concept originated primarily with Leakey (1955, 1969) and Le Gros Clark and Leakey (1951). Supporting evidence came from Bishop (1963, 1968), Butzer (1978), Chaney (1933), Chesters (1957), Hamilton (quoted in Walker, 1969), Mac-Innes (1953), Omaston (quoted in Bishop, 1968), Verdcourt (1963, 1972), and Whitworth (1953/54, 1958). This was the kind of landscape that is still widespread over enormous parts of Africa, in those areas between the rain forest belt and the dry bushland belt where the natural vegetation has not yet been too degraded by wood-cutting, agriculture, overgrazing, and bushfires resulting from human activity.


Rain Forest Middle Miocene Evergreen Forest Gallery Forest Mosaic Landscape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kortlandt
    • 1
  1. 1.Vakgroep Psychologie en Ethologie der DierenUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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