The palaeoenvironment of the middle Miocene pliopithecid locality in Damiao, Inner Mongolia, China

Leena Kristiina Sukselainen, Anu Kaakinen, Jussi Tuomas Eronen, Benjamin H. Passey, Terry Harrison, Zhang Zhaoqun, Mikael Fortelius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Damiao, Inner Mongolia, has three main fossil horizons representing the early, middle, and late Miocene. The middle Miocene locality DM01 is the only primate locality from the region and also represents the latest occurrence of pliopithecoids in northern China. The presence of pliopithecoid primates in central Asia after the middle Miocene climatic optimum seems to contradict the general trend of strengthening climatic zonality and increasing aridity. To investigate this enigma, we employ faunal similarity, ecometrics, and stable isotope analysis. Our results support previous inferences concerning the presence of locally humid environments within the increasingly arid surroundings that characterized central Asia. Hypsodonty, estimated mean annual precipitation (MAP), local sedimentology, and large mammal fossils suggest more humid and possibly more forested and wooded environments for the DM01 locality. We compared our results with the adjacent fossil-rich middle Miocene Tunggur localities. However, the small mammal fauna and isotope data are consistent with a mosaic of forest and grassland environment for all Damiao localities. Based on our results, Tunggur may have been too seasonal or not sufficiently humid for pliopithecids. This is supported by the higher mean hypsodonty and lower estimated MAP estimates, as well as slightly higher d13C values. We suggest that DM01, the driest known Asian pliopithecid locality, may have been a more humid refugium within a generally drier regional context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume108
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
ISSN0047-2484
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 119 Other natural sciences
  • Stabe isotopes
  • Ecometrics
  • Hypsodonty
  • Precipitation
  • Faunal similarity
  • Nei Monggol

Cite this

Sukselainen, Leena Kristiina ; Kaakinen, Anu ; Eronen, Jussi Tuomas ; Passey, Benjamin H. ; Harrison, Terry ; Zhaoqun, Zhang ; Fortelius, Mikael. / The palaeoenvironment of the middle Miocene pliopithecid locality in Damiao, Inner Mongolia, China. In: Journal of Human Evolution. 2017 ; Vol. 108. pp. 31-46.
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The palaeoenvironment of the middle Miocene pliopithecid locality in Damiao, Inner Mongolia, China. / Sukselainen, Leena Kristiina; Kaakinen, Anu; Eronen, Jussi Tuomas; Passey, Benjamin H.; Harrison, Terry; Zhaoqun, Zhang; Fortelius, Mikael.

In: Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 108, 2017, p. 31-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The palaeoenvironment of the middle Miocene pliopithecid locality in Damiao, Inner Mongolia, China

AU - Sukselainen, Leena Kristiina

AU - Kaakinen, Anu

AU - Eronen, Jussi Tuomas

AU - Passey, Benjamin H.

AU - Harrison, Terry

AU - Zhaoqun, Zhang

AU - Fortelius, Mikael

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Damiao, Inner Mongolia, has three main fossil horizons representing the early, middle, and late Miocene. The middle Miocene locality DM01 is the only primate locality from the region and also represents the latest occurrence of pliopithecoids in northern China. The presence of pliopithecoid primates in central Asia after the middle Miocene climatic optimum seems to contradict the general trend of strengthening climatic zonality and increasing aridity. To investigate this enigma, we employ faunal similarity, ecometrics, and stable isotope analysis. Our results support previous inferences concerning the presence of locally humid environments within the increasingly arid surroundings that characterized central Asia. Hypsodonty, estimated mean annual precipitation (MAP), local sedimentology, and large mammal fossils suggest more humid and possibly more forested and wooded environments for the DM01 locality. We compared our results with the adjacent fossil-rich middle Miocene Tunggur localities. However, the small mammal fauna and isotope data are consistent with a mosaic of forest and grassland environment for all Damiao localities. Based on our results, Tunggur may have been too seasonal or not sufficiently humid for pliopithecids. This is supported by the higher mean hypsodonty and lower estimated MAP estimates, as well as slightly higher d13C values. We suggest that DM01, the driest known Asian pliopithecid locality, may have been a more humid refugium within a generally drier regional context.

AB - Damiao, Inner Mongolia, has three main fossil horizons representing the early, middle, and late Miocene. The middle Miocene locality DM01 is the only primate locality from the region and also represents the latest occurrence of pliopithecoids in northern China. The presence of pliopithecoid primates in central Asia after the middle Miocene climatic optimum seems to contradict the general trend of strengthening climatic zonality and increasing aridity. To investigate this enigma, we employ faunal similarity, ecometrics, and stable isotope analysis. Our results support previous inferences concerning the presence of locally humid environments within the increasingly arid surroundings that characterized central Asia. Hypsodonty, estimated mean annual precipitation (MAP), local sedimentology, and large mammal fossils suggest more humid and possibly more forested and wooded environments for the DM01 locality. We compared our results with the adjacent fossil-rich middle Miocene Tunggur localities. However, the small mammal fauna and isotope data are consistent with a mosaic of forest and grassland environment for all Damiao localities. Based on our results, Tunggur may have been too seasonal or not sufficiently humid for pliopithecids. This is supported by the higher mean hypsodonty and lower estimated MAP estimates, as well as slightly higher d13C values. We suggest that DM01, the driest known Asian pliopithecid locality, may have been a more humid refugium within a generally drier regional context.

KW - 119 Other natural sciences

KW - Stabe isotopes

KW - Ecometrics

KW - Hypsodonty

KW - Precipitation

KW - Faunal similarity

KW - Nei Monggol

U2 - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.03.014

DO - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.03.014

M3 - Article

VL - 108

SP - 31

EP - 46

JO - Journal of Human Evolution

JF - Journal of Human Evolution

SN - 0047-2484

ER -