Antoine Souron

Antoine Souron
University of Bordeaux · UMR CNRS 5199, PACEA - Laboratoire de la Préhistoire à l'Actuel : Culture, Environnement et Anthropologie

PhD

About

70
Publications
16,855
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Citations
Introduction
Data gained from the systematics, phylogeny, ecology and biogeography of extant and fossil Suidae (Neogene and Quaternary of Africa and Eurasia) are applied to two research foci: 1) reconstructing the temporal, environmental, and biogeographic context of human evolution; 2) understanding how morphological adaptations evolve (interplays between morphology, diet, and environmental constraints) using the case-study of iterative herbivorous adaptations in African Neogene and Quaternary Suidae.
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Université de Bordeaux
Position
  • Maître de conférences
October 2015 - March 2018
Université de Bordeaux
Position
  • Chair
Description
  • Paleoenvironments and geographic distributions of hominids in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene: evidence from the paleoecology of suids (pigs)
January 2013 - March 2015
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Investigating temporal, biogeographic, and environmental background to human evolution: Plio-Pleistocene Suidae from eastern versus southern Africa.
Education
September 2009 - December 2012
Université de Poitiers
Field of study
  • Vertebrate Paleontology
September 2005 - June 2008
Université de Poitiers
Field of study
  • Vertebrate Paleontology
September 2004 - June 2005
Ajou University 아주대학교
Field of study
  • Natural Sciences

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
Late Pliocene climate changes have long been implicated in environmental changes and mammalian evolution in Africa, but high-resolution examinations of the fossil and climatic records have been hampered by poor sampling. By using fossils from the well-dated Shungura Formation (lower Omo Valley, northern Turkana Basin, southern Ethiopia), we investi...
Chapter
Humans evolved in the dynamic landscapes of Africa under conditions of pronounced climatic, geological and environmental change during the past 7 million years. This book brings together detailed records of the paleontological and archaeological sites in Africa that provide the basic evidence for understanding the environments in which we evolved....
Article
Full-text available
Neogene and Pleistocene African suids displayed convergent evolutionary trends in the third molar (M3) morphology, with increasingly elongated and higher crowns through time. While these features can prevent premature loss of masticatory functionality and potentially increase long-term reproductive success, changes in dental occlusal traits such as...
Article
Full-text available
The Early Pleistocene was a critical time period in the evolution of eastern African mammal faunas, but fossil assemblages sampling this interval are poorly known from Ethiopia’s Afar Depression. Field work by the Hadar Research Project in the Busidima Formation exposures (~2.7–0.8 Ma) of Hadar in the lower Awash Valley, resulted in the recovery of...
Article
Full-text available
Higher education in evolutionary anthropology involves providing students with in‐depth knowledge of biological and cultural heritage sites and collections that are frequently inaccessible. Indeed, most sites, fossils, and archaeological remains can be visited or manipulated only rarely and solely by specialists with extensive experience. Owing to...
Article
This study analyzes and compares dental microwear textures on occlusal and buccal surfaces from the same tooth to determine if using these surfaces in tandem can provide complementary data for dietary reconstructions. Cova de la Guineu is a Late Neolithic‐Chalcolithic burial cave located in Font‐Rubí (Barcelona, Spain). The study sample consisted o...
Article
In order to understand mammalian evolution and compute a wide range of biodiversity indices, we commonly use the ‘bioregion’, a spatial division adapted to ecological and evolutionary constraints. While commonly conducted by neontologists, the establishment of bioregions in palaeontology is generally a secondary analysis, shaped on subjective time...
Article
Domestication has led to many changes in domestic animal biology, including their anatomy. The shape of the inner ear, part of the mammalian ear, has been found particularly relevant for discriminating domesticated species, their hybrids or differentiating the wild and domestic populations of a single species. Here we assessed the use of the size a...
Article
During the mid-to-late Pliocene (ca. 4–3 Ma), several hominin species were present in central Sahel, eastern and southern Africa. The potential for the discovery of hominin remains from this interval is limited by the availability of exposed Pliocene deposits and the ability to investigate them. As a result, most discoveries have been made in the A...
Conference Paper
Estimating Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) is a crucial prerequisite step of paleontological and zooarcheological analyses, notably to determine taphonomic history of bone assemblages and function of sites. Isolated petrous bones of suids are frequently preserved in sites but identification of antimeric pairs is hindered by the difficulty to di...
Conference Paper
Taxinomic delineation of morphospecies relies on our capacity as taxinomists to disentangle interspecific and intraspecific morphological variability. The petrous bone displays a complex morphology and is an important source of taxinomic and phylogenetic characters in extant and extinct vertebrates, but their use is hindered by a poor understanding...
Conference Paper
Taxinomic delineation of morphospecies relies on our capacity as taxinomists to disentangle interspecific and intraspecific morphological variability. The petrous bone displays a complex morphology and is an important source of taxinomic and phylogenetic characters in extant and extinct vertebrates, but their use is hindered by a poor understanding...
Article
The thick-enameled, bunodont dentition shared by most early hominins has traditionally been interpreted as reflecting durophagy, especially in the robust genus Paranthropus. However, subsequent works on dental microwear textures (DMT) and biogeochemical compositions have challenged this hypothesis. Some authors argued that their robust morphology m...
Conference Paper
Suids are a suitable taxinomic group for understanding evolutionary mechanisms owing to their rich fossil record and their high morphological and ecological variability. Establishing a correct taxinomy is a crucial prerequisite for any paleontological study. The petrous bone displays a complex morphology and is an important source of taxinomic/phyl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Zooarchaeological data available for Mesolithic sites from Quercy (France) fuel discussions on occupation periods and functional status of the sites within a logistical mobility system of those populations of hunter-gatherers. Dental microwear analysis of fauna has recently been proposed as an additional source of data on occupation time and season...
Article
Intra-tooth stable isotope variations have been used to interpret seasonality and aridity in paleoenvironmental reconstructions of paleontological and archeological sites. However, most intra-tooth datasets only permit qualitative interpretations of seasonality, because the measured signal is attenuated due to the duration of enamel mineralization...
Article
Full-text available
The present study concerns occlusal dental microwear texture variation on the deciduous molars of children. A description and evaluation of microwear texture variation within facet 9 and a comparison of microwear textures between grinding facets 9 and 11 are presented. The relationship between wear facet surface area and intra-facet microwear textu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Reliable discrimination of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic bone surface modifications (BSM) is crucial to reconstructing the taphonomic history of bone assemblages and past behaviors of hominids and other animals. This discrimination is hindered by equifinality, i.e., BSM with similar morphologies that were produced by different agents. Here we...
Conference Paper
Paleobiological analyses crucially rely on correct specific identifications of fossil specimens. This identification is frequently hindered by difficulties in disentangling inter- and intra-specific variabilities. Craniomandibular, dental, and postcranial remains usually display a strong intra-specific variability that results from sexual dimorphis...
Article
Full-text available
The dentition is an extremely important organ in mammals with variation in timing and sequence of eruption, crown morphology, and tooth size enabling a range of behavioral, dietary, and functional adaptations across the class. Within this suite of variable mammalian dental phenotypes, relative sizes of teeth reflect variation in the underlying gene...
Presentation
Full-text available
Bone surface modifications (BSM), including the ones left by insects, are relevant sources of information to characterize the taphonomic history of bone assemblages in archaeological and palaeontological contexts.
Conference Paper
For much of their evolutionary history, hominids likely had little predatory impact on other large animals and frequently fell prey to large carnivorous animals (mammals and crocodiles). The archaeological record indicates that later hominids (definitely after 2.6 Ma and probably earlier) gradually incorporated more meat into their diet than observ...
Conference Paper
Bone modifications are windows on the taphonomic history of bone assemblages. In archaeological contexts, they allow the identification of butchery sites, dispersal ways of humans and other animals, and predator-prey relationships. Currently, the identification of the agents responsible for leaving these types of marks relies predominantly on quali...
Conference Paper
L’étude des traces osseuses est cruciale pour caractériser l’histoire taphonomique des assemblages osseux. En contexte archéologique, elle permet de documenter les interactions passées entre l’Homme et les prédateurs non-humains, notamment au niveau de la compétition pour l’accès aux proies, aux carcasses, ou encore aux abris. À l’heure actuelle, l...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to explore the feeding ecology of two terrestrial papionins, Papio and Theropithecus from the Shungura Formation in Ethiopia, the most complete stratigraphic and paleontological record of the African Plio-Pleistocene. Two aspects were evaluated using Dental Microwear Texture Analysis: differences in diet between the extinct genera a...
Article
Full-text available
The past two million years of eastern African climate variability is currently poorly constrained, despite interest in understanding its assumed role in early human evolution. Rare palaeoclimate records from northeastern Africa suggest progressively drier conditions or a stable hydroclimate. By contrast, records from Lake Malawi in tropical southea...
Conference Paper
Earliest Miocene faunas are crucial for understanding the establishment of modern communities, following the Microbunodon dispersal Event and the environmental fragmentation linked to the Oi-1 glaciation. Montaigu-le-Blin and Saint-Gérand-le-Puy (Allier, France) are world famous localities that yielded very abundant and well-preserved earliest Mioc...
Conference Paper
The Plio-Pleistocene fossil record of African suids documents repeated convergent instances of progressive changes in third molar morphologies (increases in crown length and height). Based on uniformitarianism, those changes were classically interpreted as adaptive responses to herbivory in more and more open landscapes resulting from global climat...
Conference Paper
Identifying cut marks and trampling marks: a quantitative study of their microtopography through geometric morphometrics L’identification des traces de boucherie et de piétinement : une étude quantitative de leur microtopographie par morphométrie géométrique. Les traces osseuses sont des fenêtres sur l’histoire taphonomique des assemblages osseu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Heterochrony generates morphological diversity via perturbations of the rate or timing of development and requires little genetic modification. Characterizing heterochronic patterns is therefore of prime interest to understand the factors controlling the tempo and mode of the dramatic and geologically rapid morphological changes observed in the ric...
Article
The fossiliferous late Pliocene deposits of the Lee Adoyta sub-basin, lower Awash Valley (LAV), Ethiopia, sample a poorly-known time interval in this region (~2.82 to <2.5 Ma). Recent fieldwork in Lee Adoyta by the Ledi-Geraru Research Project has produced a rich mammalian fauna, including the earliest specimen of the genus Homo. Here, we describe...
Conference Paper
A Kolpochoerus majus (Suidae) cranium from Middle Pleistocene (0.6 Ma) deposits of Bodo, Ethiopia displays fractures on the vault and a linear mark on the occipital bone. Using an actualistic approach, we experimentally produced similar fractures and marks with various objects on a collection of heads of wild boars (Sus scrofa) from Tautavel, Franc...
Article
Geladas were long supposed to be the only living primates feeding almost entirely on graminoids and accordingly display dramatic dental and manual adaptive traits. A recent study of Theropithecus gelada, the first in a relatively undisturbed habitat, revealed a more diverse diet, also incorporating large quantities of forbs. The peculiar adaptive t...
Conference Paper
Taxinomic assessment of fossils is the first crucial step for any subsequent meaningful paleobiological analyses. Difficulties in disentangling intraspecific and interspecific components of morphological variability, combined with taphonomic biases, hinder the delineation of extinct species. This is well exemplified by the recent debates surroundin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction Most extant wild pig species (Suidae) are omnivorous and consume a large variety of foods, including animal matter, plant matter (leaves, grass, forbs, ferns, fruits, nuts, roots), fungi, faeces, and even soil (e.g. Meijaard et al. 2011). Species of the genera Babyrousa, Sus, and Potamochoerus are omnivorous and comprise the large majo...
Article
Eight years of excavation work by the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has produced a rich vertebrate fauna from several sites within Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Study of these as well as recently re-organized collections from Mary Leakey's 1972 HWK EE excavations here provides a synthetic view of the faunal community of Ol...
Poster
Numerous remains of the suid genus Kolpochoerus have been collected since 2006 by the Omo Group Research Expedition in the Plio-Pleistocene levels of the Shungura Formation (Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia). Members H to L are better documented than in earlier collections of the International Omo Research Expedition, which clarifies the morphological ch...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For most of their evolutionary history, hominids likely had little predatory impact on other large animals and frequently fell prey to large carnivorous mammals and crocodiles. The archeological record indicates that later hominids (definitely after 2.6 Ma and probably earlier) gradually incorporated more meat into their diet than we see eaten by m...
Article
We investigated the dietary differences among four extant suid genera using 3D dental microwear texture analysis on the enamel surfaces of molar shearing facets. We tested the differences among four taxa for four variables: complexity, anisotropy, and heterogeneity at two scales. This enabled us to distinguish omnivorous taxa (Sus scrofa and Potamo...
Research
Full-text available
Article submitted in 2014 to the Annales de la Fondation Fyssen. Rejected in 2015 but available to researchers at the library of the Fondation Fyssen.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Ledi-Geraru research area forms part the Lower Awash Valley (Afar, Ethiopia), a region with abundant sedimentary deposits which have yielded some of the most emblematic hominin fossil discoveries in the history of paleoanthropology. Ledi-Geraru is localized north of Hadar and Dikika, and west of Gona. A series of surveys carried out since 2002...
Article
Full-text available
Although the suid genus Kolpochoerus is well known from the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa, the evolutionary history of one of its constituent species, K. majus, remained obscure until substantial fossil evidence accumulated during the last 20 years, largely from sites in Ethiopia. Here, we describe Kolpochoerus phillipi sp. nov., based on a fairly com...
Article
Sedimentary basins in eastern Africa preserve a record of continental rifting and contain important fossil assemblages for interpreting hominin evolution. However, the record of hominin evolution between 3 and 2.5 million years ago (Ma) is poorly documented in surface outcrops, particularly in Afar, Ethiopia. Here we present the discovery of 2.84-2...
Article
Full-text available
During the latest Miocene and the early Pliocene, tetraconodontine suids were the most predominant large omnivorous mammals in Africa. Yet, new species were often identified on the grounds of limited evidence, a situation impacting their value for biochronological correlations as well as for environmental and biogeographical reconstructions. The de...
Thesis
Full-text available
Résumé : La sous-famille des Suinae est largement répandue en Afrique au Plio-Pléistocène et a été abondamment utilisée pour corréler biochronologiquement les sites à hominidés en se basant sur l’évolution morphologique rapide des troisièmes molaires dans différentes lignées. À partir d’un échantillon important de suinés africains actuels, les sché...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The Faluns Formation (Blaisois, Pontlevoy–Thenay Basin; Touraine, Savigné-sur- Lathan Basin; Anjou Doué-la-Fontaine Basin) is mainly composed of Langhian and Vallesian marine sand deposits (MN5 and MN9). It is famous for its paleontological content. No less than 58 species of mammals indicating European Neogene Mammal Unit MN5 are currently known from the Faluns, which are clearly distinct from older and reworked specimens (eroded, broken, darker colour), characteristic for MN2 (“calcaire de Beauce” For- mation), MN3, and MN4 (“sable de l’Orléanais” formation), or even extremely rare dinosaur remains, which can be found there as well. However, recent reassesment hilighted numerous eroneous attributions in the literature at the species and genus level for these fossils. In the frame of this project we propose to reassess all the animals (mainly mammals) present in these deposits. Each clade will be studied by a group of specialists of the taxa to better understand the faunal diversity of the falun.
Project
This is a multidisciplinary project involving about 30 paleontologists, geologists, archaeologists and paleoenvironment specialists from Africa, Europe and northern America. We work on the Shungura Formation, the most complete sequence of sediments from the Plio-Pleistocene in Africa, dated from 3.6 Ma and ca. 1 Ma, and found in the Lower Omo Valley. Our goal is to decipher the interrelations between environmental changes at local, regional, and global scales and the evolution of the Shungura fauna, including fossil species of hominids.
Archived project
Understanding the phylogenetic history of suids using both living and fossil species. Estimating time of divergence between major clades within suidae, and understanding their biogeography.