Photo of the Week: Palaeoenvironments of Africa: Why so long in the tooth?

Palaeoenvironments of Africa: Why so long in the tooth?

Palaeoenvironments of Africa: Why so long in the tooth?

Our next instalment of the ‘Photo of the Week’ series features postgraduate researchers Lauren Sewell and Lucile Crete’s image which represents palaeoenvironments in Africa. The series is a weekly instalment, which features an image taken by our fantastic BU staff and students. The photos give a glimpse into some of the fascinating work our researchers have been doing across BU and the wider community.

As part of the Institute for Studies of Landscape and Human Evolution (ISLHE), Lauren and Lucile’s research focuses on past environmental and vegetation changes in eastern and southern Africa. They’re looking to understand the nature of the landscapes and climatic influences which species evolved in, thrived in or died out in. The photo’s background represents both the potential vegetation present at the time and the symbolic evolutionary tree. The research is fuelled by their desire to understand human evolution. They use abundant, herbivorous antelope species (springbok in southern Africa and impala in East Africa) whose teeth are reflective of the vegetation available at the time.

The results should provide more information about past environments in Africa where different hominin species have been found, to understand what influenced species evolution 3 to 0.5 million years ago.

If you’d like find out more about the research or the photo itself then please contact Lucile.

This photo was originally an entry to the 2017 Research Photography Competition. If you have any other questions about the Photo of the Week series or the competition please email