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  • Faurby, Sören
    et al.
    Silvestro, Daniele
    Werdelin, Lars
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Antonelli, Alexandre
    Brain expansion in early hominins predicts carnivore extinctions in East Africa2020In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 23, p. 537-544Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While the anthropogenic impact on ecosystems today is evident, it remains unclear if the detrimental

    effect of hominins on co-occurring biodiversity is a recent phenomenon or has also been

    the pattern for earlier hominin species. We test this using the East African carnivore fossil record.

    We analyse the diversity of carnivores over the last four million years and investigate whether any

    decline is related to an increase in hominin cognitive capacity, vegetation changes or climatic

    changes. We find that extinction rates in large carnivores correlate with increased hominin brain

    size and with vegetation changes, but not with precipitation or temperature changes. While temporal

    analyses cannot distinguish between the effects of vegetation changes and hominins, we

    show through spatial analyses of contemporary carnivores in Africa that only hominin causation

    is plausible. Our results suggest that substantial anthropogenic influence on biodiversity started

    millions of years earlier than currently assumed.

  • Rhodén, Caroline
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet.
    Wahlberg, Emma
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.
    The phylogeny of Empis and Rhamphomyia (Diptera, Empididae) investigated using UCEs including an over 150 years old museum specimen2020In: Evolutionary Systematics, ISSN 2535-0730, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 21-33Article in journal (Refereed)