The early Pliocene locality Galili in the southern Afar depression (Somali Region, Ethiopia) yields fossil suid and elephantoid remains from the Lasdanan, Dhidinley, Godiray, and Shabeley Laag Members in the Mount Galili Formation. The early Pliocene Galili faunal assemblage, including hominid fossils, comes from a crucial time span of early hominid evolution from 3.5 Ma to 4.5 Ma based on biostratigraphic correlation and preliminary radiometric results. Nyanzachoerus pattersoni, Notochoerus jaegeri are found in the Lasdanan, Dhidinley, and younger Shabeley Laag Members, and Anancus kenyensis (advanced morph), Loxodonta cf. exoptata or L. cf. adaurora are recovered from Dhidinley and Shabeley Laag Members, whereas Notochoerus euilus and the genus Elephas were only found in the Shabeley Laag Member. Comparison of pig and elephantoid remains with taxa from radiometrically dated sites in eastern Africa show that the Galili assemblage correlates well with Kenyan fossils from the Kanapoi sequence and the Apak and Kaiyumung Members of Lothagam. Galili further correlates with the Kataboi Member of the Nachukui Formation at West Turkana and the Moiti and Lokochot Members of Koobi Fora at East Turkana. It also correlates well with the Mursi Formation and the Basal Member and Member A of the Omo Shungura Formation and the lower portion of the Hadar and Sangantole Formations in the Middle Awash region in Ethiopia. The paleoecology of the faunal community from the Dhidinley and Shabeley Laag Members suggests open woodland to bushland-woodland and shrubland habitats for Galili.
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Vol. 23 • No. 7