Late Pliocene avifauna from the hominid-bearing Zinjanthropus land surface at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. In Proceedings of the VII International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution, ed. W.E. Boles and T.H. Worthy
Taxonomic and taphonomic data on 236 fossil bird bone specimens are applied to paleolandscape models and reconstructions developed by the Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project (OLAPP) for Late Pliocene (1.84 Ma) hominid bearing deposits in the FLK Complex at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Shorebirds dominate the avifauna but the occurrence and densities of different avian ecotypes vary across the landscape in ways that corroborate OLAPP reconstructions of wetland, peninsular and riverine landscape facets in this area of the paleo-Lake Olduvai Basin. Taphonomic profiles are based on observations of modern bird bone in similar environments of Tanzania. The taphonomy suggests habitat patchiness within these delineated landscape facets. Results support the use of fossil bird assemblages, even small assemblages thereof, for aiding in and refining paleoenvironmental reconstructions.