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Research

Fieldwork

Fieldwork was conducted in the Tugen Hills (Baringo) in February 2013 and 2014, in a joint campaign involving the Kenyan partners of the Orrorin Community Organisation and the German research group from Ludwig-Maximilians University. We collected numerous well-preserved fish fossils and several samples for analyses of pollen and clay mineralogy. In addition, several outcrops were mapped in detail.

Results 

The high preservation quality of the fish fossils from the Miocene sediments in the Tugen Hills is exceptional. We are still in the process of investigating the newly collected fish fossils. Almost all fish fossils from the Ngorora Fm. belong to the Cichlidae, one of the most diverse tropical freshwater fish clades of the world. In contrast, an extinct aplocheiloid killifish dominates the fossil fish assemblage from the Lukeino Fm.

Publications (chronologically)

  • Altner, M., Schliewen, U., Penk, S.B.R., Reichenbacher, B. (2017). † Tugenchromis pickfordi gen. et sp. nov. from the upper Miocene – a stem-group cichlid of the ‘East African Radiation’. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 37(2): e1297819 - this article is open access, please click here
  • Rasmussen, C., Reichenbacher, B., Lenz, O., Altner, M., Penk, S.B.R., Prieto, J., Brüsch, D. (2017). Middle–late Miocene palaeoenvironments, palynological data and a fossil fish Lagerstätte from the Central Kenya Rift (East Africa). Geological Magazine, 154 (1), 24–56.
  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2015). †Kenyaichthyidae fam. nov. and †Kenyaichthys gen. nov. – First Record of a Fossil Aplocheiloid Killifish (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes). PLoS ONE 10(4):e0123056 - this article is open access, please click here

Conference contributions (chronologically)

  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2016a). Neue Einblicke in die Evolutionsgeschichte der Tanganjikasee‐Buntbarsche. 43. Treffen Arbeitskreis Wirbeltierpaläontologie am Urweltmuseum GEOSKOP / Burg Lichtenberg (Pfalz).
  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2016b). The Ngorora Fish-Lagerstätte Waril – a unique window into the evolutionary history of cichlids. Abstract Book of the 87th Annual Conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Dresden, p. 28–29.
  • Penk, S.B.R. & Reichenbacher, B. (2016). A new exceptionally well-preserved fossil cichlid
of the Oreochromini (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae: haplotilapiines) from the Middle Miocene of Central Kenya (East African Rift System). Abstract Book of the 87th Annual Conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Dresden, p. 125–126.
  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2015). A new fossil cichlid from the Middle Miocene in the East African Rift Valley (Tugen Hills, Central Kenya): First record of a putative Ectodini. Frontiers in Marine Science, XV European Congress of Ichthyology, Porto, Portugal. doi: 10.3389/conf.FMARS.2015.03.00145
  • Penk, S.B. & Reichenbacher, B. (2015). New record of a fossil haplotilapiine cichlid from Central Kenya. Frontiers in Marine Science, XV European Congress of Ichthyology, Porto, Portugal. doi: 10.3389/conf.fmars.2015.03.00121
  • Altner, M., Schliewen, U., Reichenbacher, B. (2014). Exceptionally well-preserved Haplochromini-like fossils (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae: Haplotilapiini: East African radiation) with otoliths in situ from the middle Miocene Lagerstätte Waril in the Tugen Hills (Central Kenya, East African Rift Valley). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014, p. 79.
  • Penk, S.B., Rasmussen, C., Schliewen, U., Reichenbacher, B. (2014). A new Middle Miocene Conservatlagerstätte in the Tugen Hills (Central Kenya, East African Rift Valley) reveals a unique record of fossil Haplotilapiini (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014, p. 203.
  • Rasmussen, C. & Reichenbacher, B. (2014). Sedimentological and Paleoenvironmental Implications of the Ngorora Formation, Tugen Hills (Central Kenya Rift). – 2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014).
  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2013). An enigmatic aplocheiloid killifish from the Upper Miocene. - Annual Joint Meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologist, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 15 July 2013 [invited talk].
  • Altner, M. & Reichenbacher, B. (2013). How to deal with polymorphism/intraspecific variation. - Joint Conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft and the Palaeontological Society of China, Göttingen, Germany, 23-26 September 2013.
  • Reichenbacher, B., Rasmussen, C., Penk, S.B.R. & Altner, M. (2013). New Fossil Lagerstätte Tugen Hills (Kenya, Africa): Exceptional preservation of Miocene freshwater fishes. - Joint Conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft and the Palaeontological Society of China, Göttingen, Germany, 23-26 September 2013.

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