South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
PICKFORD, Martin. Middle Miocene vertebrate fauna from Pemba Island, Tanzania. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2008, vol.104, n.5-6, pp.231-237. ISSN 1996-7489.
This paper records the presence of Middle Miocene terrestrial and marine vertebrates in sedimentary deposits on Pemba Island in the Indian Ocean, offshore Tanzania. Although the fossil assemblage is restricted, the affinities of the terrestrial mammals are typical of African continental faunas of basal Middle Miocene age, c. 16.5 million years ago. The Pemba Series has been reported to be of Lower-Middle Miocene age on the basis of marine invertebrates, in agreement with the age estimates based on a mandible of Libycochoerus massai from the deposits. The discovery is important because it provides a potential means of checking correlations between marine and continental biochronological time scales in a part of the world that has previously yielded no evidence of terrestrial palaeontology.