Fossil Proboscidea from the Wembere-Manonga Formation, Manonga Valley, Tanzania

  • William J. Sanders
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 14)


Between 1990–1994, the Wembere-Manonga Paleontological Expedition (WMPE) recovered the remains of Deinotherium, Anancus, several species from the subfamily Elephantinae, and possibly Stegotetrabelodon from fossil localities in the Manonga Valley, north-central Tanzania. The inferred age of these localities is late Miocene-early Pliocene (see below). African proboscideans underwent rapid morphological transformation and taxonomic diversification during and subsequent to the late Tertiary, and their fossils are well documented from isotopically calibrated localities (Cooke and Maglio, 1972; Maglio, 1972a, 1973; Coppens et al., 1978; Beden, 1980, 1983, 1987; Hill et al., 1986; Kalb and Mebrate, 1993). Consequently, they have proven particularly useful for biochron-ological correlation (e.g., Maglio, 1970a; Cooke and Maglio, 1972; Cooke, 1974; Beden, 1983). Evolutionary alterations in the structure of teeth and skulls in African proboscideans since the late Miocene correspond with an adaptive shift from grinding-crushing to more horizontal grinding mastication (in Anancus), and an increased emphasis on fore and aft horizontal shearing mastication (in elephants), probably in response to changes in climate, environment, and habitat utilization (Maglio, 1972a,b, 1973, 1974; Cooke, 1984; Beden, 1987; Kalb and Mebrate, 1993). Proboscideans occur in each fossil horizon of the Manonga Valley, and show distinct morphological changes through time.


Cheek Tooth Occlusal View Accessory Conules Median Cleft Enamel Thickness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Sanders
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of PaleontologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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