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Rethinking the ecological drivers of hominin evolution

tyler faithAuthors:

Tyler Faith, Andrew Du, Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Benjamin Davies, David B. Patterson, John Rowan, and Bernard Wood


Research aiming to understand the role of ecological change in hominin evolution has fueled the generation of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records across Africa.

Limitations of conventional methods for inferring ecology–evolution relationships mean that more data have not always led to a deeper understanding of hominin evolution.

We outline several challenges that have hindered progress, and highlight how recent research is addressing them.

This research is confronting the limitations of the fossil record, contending with proxy records spanning a range of spatiotemporal scales, and providing a stronger inferential approach to hypothesis testing.

Addressing the obstacles that have hindered progress will enable a more robust understanding of the relationships between ecological change and hominin evolution.

This publication can be viewed here

Last Updated: 12/22/22