Dmanisi paleoecology

I'm mining the data supplements from the Dmanisi postcrania paper for interesting stuff. There is a section (Supplement 4) on the paleoecology, which evaluates the site in terms of the faunal list:

The combination of topographic and vertebrate palaeontological information allows to infer a differentiated landscape pattern. Over a distance of a few kilometres, the landscape character changed from a flat and fairly wet river valley with gallery forests (indicated especially by the frequently recorded Eucladoceros and the elaphine deer Cervus abesalomi) to flanking slopes with shrub vegetation of varying densities, turning into dry meadows in the southerly exposed areas with more intense insolation. Extended tree savannah to open grasslands characterised the higher ground out of the valley. In addition to savannahs, semidesert-like rocky terrains existed on the lava outcrops in the vicinity of the site. Testudo graeca and Hystrix refossa indicate temperate climatic parameters.

Supplement 3 concerns the faunal resemblances with other geographic regions: they conclude that the greatest similarity is with Europe, and faunal similarities with Africa are

mainly due to the co-occurrence of common carnivore genera (e.g. Homotherium, Megantereon, Panthera) or, among herbivores, widespread genera like Equus.

Homotherium and Megantereon are the sabretooths.


Lordkipanidze D and 17 others. 2007. Postcranial evidence from early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia. Nature 449:305-310. doi:10.1038/nature06134