The Chad Basin

Session Date: 
May 31, 2019

Until recently, Chad has remained a poorly known country as far as paleontological research, compared to its neighbors on the African continent. But since 1994, the Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Chadienne (MPFT) is conducting intensive geological and paleontological surveys in the Djurab desert. More than 400 Mio-Pliocene fossil sites dated between ca 3 and 7 Ma have been identified. These sites have yielded rich and diverse fossil faunal assemblages of vertebrates, unique in Central Africa. They include the remains of early hominins: Abel (Australopithecus bahrelghazali, ca 3.5 Ma), the first Australopithecus, discovered west of the Rift Valley (Brunet et al., 1995 & 1996), and Toumaï (Sahelanthropus tchadensis, ca.7 Ma), the earliest known hominin (Brunet et al.,2002 & 2005). These discoveries, exceptional in their geographical position and their dates, substitute the old scenarios explaining the emergence of the human Family through environmental changes in East Africa (Coppens, 1983).

File 2019_05_31_03_Andossa.mp475.38 MB