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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Sarah Elton

O’Regan, H.J., Turner, A., Bishop, L.C., Elton, S. & Lamb, A. (2011). Hominins without fellow travellers? First appearances and inferred dispersals of Afro-Eurasian large-mammals in the Plio-Pleistocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 30(11-12): 1343-1352.

Author(s) from Durham


Discoveries of fossil Homo outside Africa predating 1.0 Ma have generated much discussion about hominin dispersal routes. However, tool-using bipeds were only one element of the inter-continental mammalian dispersals that occurred during the climatic changes of the Pliocene and Pleistocene. This paper will place hominin movements in the context of those of the wider mammalian fauna, which includes carnivores, bovids and non-human primates. The distribution of these different taxa suggests that species moved individually when the environmental conditions were right for them, rather than in multi-species waves of dispersal, and allows evaluation of the contextual evidence for the newly emerging ‘Out of Asia’ paradigm as well as the established ‘Out of Africa’ model.