Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bos evolution relationships with Acheulean tool technology

The Olduvai buffalo Pelorovis and the origin of Bos. Quaternary Research 68 (2007) 220-226 doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2007.06.002

The origin of the genus Bos is a debated issue. From ~0.5 Ma until historic times, the genus is well known in the Eurasian large mammal assemblages, where it is represented by Bos primigenius. This species has a highly derived cranial anatomy that shows important morphological differences from other Plio-Pleistocene Eurasian genera of the tribe Bovini such as Leptobos, Bison, Proamphibos-Hemibos, and Bubalus. The oldest clear evidence of Bos is the skull fragment ASB-198-1 from the middle Pleistocene (~0.6–0.8 Ma) site of Asbole (Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia). The first appearance of Bos in Europe is at the site of Venosa-Notarchirico, Italy (~0.5–0.6 Ma). Although the origin of Bos has traditionally been connected with Leptobos and Bison, after a detailed anatomical and morphometric study we propose here a different origin, connecting the middle Pleistocene Eurasian forms of B. primigenius with the African Late Pliocene and early Pleistocene large size member of the tribe Bovini Pelorovis sensu stricto. The dispersal of the Bos lineage in Western Europe during middle Pleistocene times seems to coincide with the arrival of the Acheulean tool technology in this continent.

Bienvenido Martínez

For this analysis, we include the Eastern African Late Pliocene species Pelorovis turkanensis from eastern Africa and P. oldowayensis, recorded in the early Pleistocene of Eastern Africa and the Levantine corridor.

According to the evidence discussed above, we propose a reclassification of the Late Pliocene and early Pleistocene African members of the tribe Bovini ascribed to Pelorovis and the middle Pleistocene–Holocene African and Eurasian specimens ascribed to Bos, including all of them in the genus Bos.

Under this new interpretation, we recognize here three chronospecies: (1) Bos turkanensis for the Late Pliocene African form; (2) Bos oldowayensis for the early Pleistocene form of Africa and the Middle East; and (3) B. primigenius for the Eurasian middle Pleistocene to Holocene form.

The extant representatives of the genus Bos are common animals in human settlements, but now we can suggest that they have been part of the human ecological scenario since the beginning of the genus Homo, during the African Late Pliocene.

Please cite this article as: Martinez-Navarro, B., et al., The Olduvai buffalo Pelorovis and the origin of Bos, Quaternary Research (2007), doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2007.06.002 © 2007 University of Washington. All rights reserved

Bienvenido Martínez-Navarro. ICREA, Area de Prehistòria-IPHES, Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Plaça Imperial Tarraco, 1. 43005 Tarragona, Spain
Juan Antonio Pérez-Claros. Departamento de Geología y Ecología (Área de Paleontología), Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Universitario de Teatinos. 29071 Málaga, Spain
Maria Rita Palombo. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Roma “La Sapienza”, and CNR Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
Lorenzo Rook. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Paul Palmqvist. Departamento de Geología y Ecología (Área de Paleontología), Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Universitario de Teatinos. 29071 Málaga, Spain

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