Re: Savanna: a slow demise

Ralph L Holloway (
Sun, 24 Sep 1995 17:37:46 -0400

I am really tired of seeing this vehement crap from AAT'ers on the
savannah hypothesis and it's so-called demise. Allow me to quote the last
paragraph of Leakey et al (1995) NATURE, 17 August,565-571, "New
Four-million-year-old hominid species from Kanapoi and Allia Bay, Kenya".

"Early hominids were apparently not restricted to a narrow range of
habitats. Dry, possibly open, wooded or bushland conditions are indicated
by the Kanapoi mammalian macro- and microfauna, although a wide gallery
forest would have almost certainly been present on the large river that
brought in the sediments." p.571

This is what most of us palaeoanthropologists have meant by "savannah"
for some time. To go on:

"At Allia Bay there is a fauna that appears to be associated with the
large proto-Omo river.., and a gallery forest is also indicated there by
the presence of several large catarrhine species. These sites stand in
contrast to Aramis, which is interpreted to have been closed
woodland...At Aramis, aquatic species and large mammals are rare, and
colobines make up over 30% of all vertebrate specimens collected. The
Laetoli paleo-environment is believed to have been rather open with
grassland, scattered trees and nearby woodland. A changing mosaic of
habitats existed at Hadar, including closed and open woodland, bush and

Please re-read this again, get the original and look up the
references. The portrayal of savannah as desert, or the continued
reification of complex mosaic habitats as a singular entity is getting

Ralph Holloway