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Late Pliocene Carnivora from Ahl al Oughlam (Casablanca)
Abstract and Figures
The site of Ahl al Oughlam has yielded the first important carnivore fauna of North Africa, and one of the richest of Africa. It includes 23 taxa, 13 of which are new, belonging to most of the carnivore families, mainly the Felidae (6 species), Hyaenidae and Mustelidae (4 species each). Several genera were not previously known from North Africa, like Pliocrocuta, Chasmaporthetes, Nyctereutes, Prepoecilogale, while the walrus (Alachtherium) is mentioned for the first time in Africa. Many other genera were unknown in the area earlier than the Middle or late Pleistocene: Herpestes, Viverra, Genetta, Acinonyx, Ursus, Poecilictis, Mellivora, Lutra. The carnivore fauna of Ahl al Oughlam, quite diverse ecologically, is at least as distinct from those of Eurasia as from those of Eastern and Southern Africa; the many similarities with both, however, allow to confirm the age previously proposed for the locality, ca. 2.5 m.y.
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