The latest Early Pleistocene hippopotami from the human-bearing locality of Buia (Eritrea)

Luca Pandolfi, Roberta Martino, Matteo Belvedere, Bienvenido Martínez-Navarro, Tsegai Medin, Yosief Libsekal, Lorenzo Rook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hippopotamids represent a common element within the large mammal assemblages in the Pleistocene of Africa. However, fossil hippopotamus taxonomy, distribution and relationships are highly controversial and their occurrences in East Africa need to be deeply revised. In this framework, the hippopotamid material from the human-bearing locality of Buia (Eritrea) is here re-analysed and described in order to clarify the presence of small- and large-sized species and to provide new data on the chronological and geographic distribution of the recognised taxa. Morphological and morphometric analyses reveal the presence of Hippopotamus gorgops and aff. Hippopotamus karumensis within the fossil assemblages of the Danakil Depression and provide new characters for taxonomic discrimination between the two taxa. The record from Buia represents the northernmost and one of the youngest occurrence of aff. H. karumensis in Africa, suggesting a careful revision of the Northern African and Levantine Hippopotamidae records. Furthermore, 3D models of key specimens from Buia are provided for the first time, representing an important step in digitalization of fossil Eastern African collection and specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108039
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023


  • Biochronology
  • Hippopotamidae
  • Morphology
  • Morphometry
  • Paleobiogeography


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