ARTICLE TITLE:

REFERENCE TYPE:

AUTHOR(S):

EDITOR(S):

PUBLICATION DATE:

PUBLICATION TITLE:

VOLUME:

PAGES:

ABSTRACT:

Habitat, climate and potential plant food resources for the late Miocene Shuitangba hominoid in Southwest China: Insights from carpological remains.

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

Huang, Y. J., Ji, X. P., Su, T., Deng, C. L., Ferguson, D. K., Yu, T. S., ... & Zhou, Z. K.

2017

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

470

63-71

The late Miocene is a sub-epoch when hominoids became rare worldwide but managed to survive in a few refugia. Investigating the living conditions of the late Miocene hominoids is therefore crucial for a better understanding of how they survived in those refugia. In this study, we present relevant palaeobotanical evidence regarding the habitat, climate and possible plant food resources for the Shuitangba hominoid (Lufengpithecus cf. lufengensis) from the late Miocene Zhaotong Basin, Southwest China. A total of 14 plant taxa were recognized from carpological remains newly recovered from the Zhaotong Basin, among which ten taxa were not reflected in the previous pollen record. These new plant taxa expand our knowledge of the flora and indicate how diverse the ecosystem in the late Miocene Zhaotong Basin was. Based on our carpological taxa, we hypothesize that the Shuitangba hominoid lived in a stratified mixed forest composed of trees, shrubs, lianas, herbs and grasses, near a lake occupied by various aquatic plants. The quantitative palaeoclimatereconstruction using the Coexistence Approach (CoA) indicates that the late Miocene Zhaotong Basin had a mean annual temperature (MAT) of 11.3–17.6 °C and a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of 1042–1547 mm, suggesting a mildly warm and humid climate for the Shuitangba hominoid. It also indicates that the hominoid had warm and wet summers but cool and dry winters, under the influence of the Asian monsoon. Edible and nutritious fruits and seeds of a considerable size, e.g., nuts of Carya and Corylus, fruits of Euryale and Trapa, were possibly exploited by the Shuitangba hominoid. The harder fruits, e.g., nuts of Carya and Corylus, might have benefited the hominoid as a fallback resource in winter when foods were scarce.

URL: