Publications

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1996
Mateus, O., & Azinheira C. (1996).  Passeriformes nidificantes da Ribeira da Viscossa (Évora). (Spea, Ed.).Livro de resumos do I Congresso de Ornitologia. Abstract
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1999
Allain, R., Taquet P., Battail B., Dejax J., Richir P., Veran M., Limon-Duparcmeur F., Vacant R., Mateus O., Sayarath P., Khenthavong B., & Phouyavong S. (1999).  Un nouveau genre de dinosaure sauropode de la formation des Gres superieurs (Aptien-Albien) du Laos. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series IIA - Earth and Planetary Science. 329, 609-616., oct, Number 8 Abstractallain_taquet_battail_dejax_richir_mateus_et_al_1999_un_nouveau_genre_de_dinosaure_sauropode_de_la_formation_des_gres_superieurs_aptien-albien_du_laos.pdfWebsite

The partly-articulated postcranial remains of two sauropod skeletons recently found in Tang Vay (Savannakhet Province, Laos) are assigned to the species Tangvayosaurus hoffeti (nov. gen., nov. sp.). The derived characters present in the new material confirm the presence of titanosaurs in South East Asia at the end of the Early Cretaceous, but are not consistent with its placement within Titanosaurus genus as first done by Hoffet in 1942. All of the material relative to this species is therefore referred to a new genus: Tangvayosaurus. Tangvayosaurus and the Thai genus Phuwiangosaurus have strong affinities and are considered as primitive titanosaurs.

Allain, R., Taquet P., Battail B., Dejax J., Richir P., Véran M., Limon-Duparcmeur F., Vacant R., Mateus O., Sayarath P., Khenthavong B., & Phouyavong S. (1999).  Un nouveau genre de dinosaure sauropode de la formation des Grès supérieurs (Aptien-Albien) du Laos. Comptes Rendus de l{\textquotesingle}Académie des Sciences - Series {IIA} - Earth and Planetary Science. 329, 609–616., oct, Number 8: Elsevier {BV} AbstractWebsite
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2002
Jacinto, J. J., & Mateus O. (2002).  Integration of the distribution of Hemidactylus turcicus and Tarentola mauritanica in Portugal Continental in a G.I.S. and some occasional observations. (Sociedade Portuguesa de, Herpetologia, Ed.).Livro de resumos do VII Congresso Luso-espanhol (XI Congreso Español) de Herpetologia. 127., Évora, Portugal Abstract
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2004
Sander, M., Laven T., Mateus O., & Knotschke N. (2004).  Insular dwarfism in a brachiosaurid sauropod from the Upper Jurassic of Germany. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 23, 108., Number Suppl. to 3 Abstract
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Sander, M., Laven T., Mateus O., & Knotschke N. (2004).  Insular dwarfism in a brachiosaurid sauropod from the Upper Jurassic of Germany. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 23, 108–108., Number Suppl. to Abstract
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2006
Sander, P. M., Mateus O., Laven T., & Knötschke N. (2006).  Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Nature. 441, 739-741. Abstract
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Mateus, O., Morais M. L., Schulp A. S., Jacobs L. L., & Polcyn M. J. (2006).  The Cretaceous of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 26, 96-97., Number (Suppl. To 3) Abstract
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Mateus, O., Morais M. L., Schulp A. S., Jacobs L. L., & Polcyn M. J. (2006).  The Cretaceous of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 26, 96–97., Number (Suppl. T Abstract
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Schulp, A. S., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Jacobs L. L., Morais M. L., & Tavares T. S. (2006).  New mosasaur material from the Maastrichtian of Angola, with notes on the phylogeny, distribution and palaeoecology of the genus Prognathodon. Publicaties van het Natuurhistorisch Genootschap in Limburg Reeks XLV aflevering 1. Stichting Natuurpublicaties Limburg, Maastricht. 57-67. Abstract
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Jacobs, L. L., Mateus O., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Antunes M. T., Morais M. L., & Tavares T. S. (2006).  The occurrence and geological setting of Cretaceous dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles from Angola. Journal of the Paleontological Society of Korea. 22, , Number 1 Abstract
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Jacobs, L. L., Mateus O., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Antunes M. T., Morais M. L., & da Silva Tavares T. (2006).  The occurrence and geological setting of Cretaceous dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles from Angola. JOURNAL-PALEONTOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF KOREA. 22, 91–91., Number 1 Abstract
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Jacobs, L. L., Morais M. L., Schulp A. S., Mateus O., & Polcyn M. J. (2006).  Systematic Position and Geological Context of Angolasaurus (Mosasauridae) and a New Sea Turtle from the Cretaceous of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26 (Suppl. To 3). 81. Abstract
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Schulp, A. S., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Jacobs L. L., Morais L. M., & Tavares T. S. (2006).  New mosasaur material from the Maastrichtian of Angola, with notes on the phylogeny, distribution and palaeoecology of the genus Prognathodon. Publicaties van het Natuurhistorisch Genootschap in Limburg Reeks XLV aflevering 1. Stichting Natuurpublicaties Limburg, Maastricht . 57-67 .schulp_polcyn_mateus_jacobs_et_al_2006_new_mosasaur_material_from_the_maastrichtian_of_angola_with_notes_on_the_phylogeny_distribution_and_palaeoecology_of_the_genus_prognathodon.pdf
Jacobs, L. L., Mateus O., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Antunes M. T., Morais M. L., & da Silva Tavares T. (2006).  The occurrence and geological setting of Cretaceous dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles from Angola. Paleont. Soc. Korea. 22(1), 91-110. Abstractjacobs_mateus-et_al_2006_angola.pdf

Vertebrate-bearing fossiliferous outcrops of Cretaceous age in sub-Saharan Africa are rare because of younger superficial deposits, vegetation cover, and the widespread occurrence of Precambrian metamorphic plateau basement comprising much of the continent. However, one area of extensive marine and nonmarine
Cretaceous exposures is found between the plateau and the coast in Angola. The Angolan margin was formed in conjunction with the breakup of Gondwana and subsequent growth of the South Atlantic. Cretaceous deposits are constrained in age by the emplacement of oceanic crust, which began no later than magnetozone M3
(approximately 128 Ma, Barremian). Shallow marine facies are exposed in sea cliffs but equivalent facies become increasingly terrestrial inland. Few vertebrate fossils have been described from Angola aside from sharks.
Notable exceptions are the late Turonian mosasaurs Angolasaurus bocagei and Tylosaurus iembeensis from northern Angola. Those taxa are significant because they are among the earliest derived mosasaurs. Recent field work led to the discovery of a new skull of Angolasaursus as well as sharks, fish, plesiosaurs, the skull of a new taxon of turtle, additional mosasaurs, and the articulated forelimb of a sauropod dinosaur, the first reported dinosaur from Angola. In southern Angola, marine sediments spanning the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are found.

Sander, P. M., Mateus O., Laven T., & Knotschke N. (2006).  Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Nature. 441, 739-741., Jan Abstractsander_mateus_et_al_2006_europasaurus_sauropod_histology_drwarfism_nature.pdf

Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to inhabit the land, with truly gigantic forms in at least three lineages1, 2, 3. Small species with an adult body mass less than five tonnes are very rare4, 5, and small sauropod bones generally represent juveniles. Here we describe a new diminutive species of basal macronarian sauropod, Europasaurus holgeri gen. et sp. nov., and on the basis of bone histology we show it to have been a dwarf species. The fossils, including excellent skull material, come from Kimmeridgian marine beds of northern Germany6, 7, and record more than 11 individuals of sauropods 1.7 to 6.2 m in total body length. Morphological overlap between partial skeletons and isolated bones links all material to the same new taxon. Cortical histology of femora and tibiae indicates that size differences within the specimens are due to different ontogenetic stages, from juveniles to fully grown individuals. The little dinosaurs must have lived on one of the large islands around the Lower Saxony basin8. Comparison with the long-bone histology of large-bodied sauropods suggests that the island dwarf species evolved through a decrease in growth rate from its larger ancestor.

Mateus, O., Morais M., Schulp A., Jacobs L., & Polcyn M. (2006).  The Cretaceous of Angola. JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. 26, 96A-97A., Jan Abstractmateus_et_al_2006_svp_abstracts_cretaceous_fo_angola.pdf

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Schulp, A., Mateus O., Polcyn M., & Jacobs L. (2006).  A new Prognathodon (Squamata : Mosasauridae) from the Cretaceous of Angola. JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. 26, 122A-122A., Jan Abstractschulp_et_al_2006.pdf

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2007
Polcyn, M., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A., & Mateus O. (2007).  Halisaurus (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27(suppl. to 3), 130. Abstract
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Polcyn, M. W., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  Morphology and systematic position of Angolasaurus bocagei and the evolution of the braincase in Plioplatecarpine mosasaurs. (Sternberg, Museum, Ed.).Second Mosasaur Meeting. 20., Hays, Kansas Abstract
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Polcyn, M. W., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  Morphology and systematic position of Angolasaurus bocagei and the evolution of the braincase in Plioplatecarpine mosasaurs. Second Mosasaur Meeting. 20–20., Hays, Kansas Abstract
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Polcyn, M. W., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  The mosasaurs of Angola. Second Mosasaur Meeting. 21., Hays, Kansas: Sternberg Museum Abstract

Although occurrences of marine reptiles have been previously reported from Angola, with the exception of two Turonian taxa, these reports were based largely on isolated teeth. Fieldwork in 2005 and 2006 yielded well-preserved remains of marine reptiles including plesiosaurs, turtles, and mosasaurs. The mosasaurs discussed here were recovered from two field areas: Turonian sediments at Iembe along the north coast and Maastrichtian sediments at Bentiaba on the south coast. The Turonian section near Iembe produced at least two new specimens of Angolasaurus bocagei and one fragmentary specimen of Tylosaurus iembeensis. One of the Angolasaurus specimens is represented by a well preserved, complete and articulated skull and partial postcrania, including portions of the forelimbs and pectoral girdle. The preservation of material from the Bentiaba locality is remarkable due to the grain support of the entombing sandstone, which preserves fine anatomical details with little apparent crushing, and in the number of articulated, semi-articulated, and associated skeletons. Identifications from the field and preliminary preparation show the Bentiaba mosasaur fauna is represented by at least five genera including Mosasaurus, Prognathodon, Globidens, Plioplatecarpus and Halisaurus. Collectively, these new specimens greatly expand our knowledge of the anatomy and systematics of Angolan mosasaurs.

Polcyn, M. W., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  The mosasaurs of Angola. (Sternberg, Museum, Ed.).Second Mosasaur Meeting. 21., Hays, Kansas Abstract
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Polcyn, M. W., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  The mosasaurs of Angola. Second Mosasaur Meeting. 21–21., Hays, Kansas Abstract
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Polcyn, M., Jacobs L., Schulp A., & Mateus O. (2007).  Halisaurus (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27(Suppl. to 3), 130A., Jan: Museu Lourinha, So Methodist Univ, Nat Hist Museum Maastricht Abstractpolcyn_et_al_mateus2007_halisaurus_angola_svpmeet.pdf

Recent fieldwork in the Namibe province in southern Angola yielded cranial and postcranial elements of at least two individuals of the rare and enigmatic mosasaur Halisaurus from a single small excavation. The genus Halisaurus is unique in retaining a primitive configuration of the temporal arcade, specifically a broad, vertically oriented contact between the parietal and the supratemporal. The supratemporal is broadly sutured to the opisthotic and prootic, unlike the condition in varanoids in which the simple lunate element lies between the parietal ramus and the squamosal and does not form a sutural contact with the opisthotic or prootic, but as in other halisaurines retains a plesiomorphic, vertically oriented contact with the parietal rami. The squamosal is lightly built and broadly arched as in Varanus. Comparison with known halisaurines indicates the new material is referable to the species Halisaurus arambourgi.
The locality that yielded the new specimens has also yielded a large number of isolated teeth, bones, articulated, and associated skeletons of Mosasaurus, Prognathodon, Globidens, and Plioplatecarpus, which with Halisaurus comprise a mosasaur assemblage most similar to that reported from the Maastrichtian of Morocco.

Polcyn, M. J., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2007).  Morphology and systematic position of Angolasaurus bocagei and the evolution of the braincase in Plioplatecarpine mosasaurs. Second Mosasaur Meeting. , May 3-6, 2007, Sternberg Museum, Hays, Kansaspolcyn_et_al_2007_angolosaurus_mosasaurmeetingabstracts.pdf
2008
Mateus, O., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Neto A. B., & Antunes M. T. (2008).  Dinosaur and turtles from the Turonian of Iembe, Angola. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología de Vertebrados. 156., Neuquén, Argentina Abstract
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Mateus, O., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Neto A. B., & Antunes M. T. (2008).  Dinosaur and turtles from the Turonian of Iembe, Angola. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología de Vertebrados. 156–156., Neuquén, Argentina Abstract
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Schulp, A. S., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Jacobs L. L., & Morais M. L. (2008).  A new species of Prognathodon (Squamata, Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola, and the affinities of the mosasaur genus Liodon. Proceedings of the Second Mosasaur Meeting, Fort Hays Studies Special Issue 3, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 1-12. Abstract
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Mateus, O., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Neto A. B., & Antunes M. T. (2008).  Dinosaur and turtles from the Turonian of Iembe, Angola. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontologia de Vertebrados. 156., Neuquén, Argentina Abstractmateus_et_al_2008_dinosaur_and_turtles_from_the_turonian_of_iembe_angola.pdf

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Schulp, A. S., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Jacobs L. L., & Morais M. L. (2008).  A new species of Prognathodon (Squamata, Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola, and the affinities of the mosasaur genus Liodon. Proceedings of the Second Mosasaur Meeting, Fort Hays Studies Special Issue 3, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 1-12. Abstractschulp_et_al_2008_prognathodon_kianda.pdf

Here we describe a new species of the mosasaurine genus Prognathodon from the Maastrichtian of Namibe, Angola, on the basis of five specimens which represent most of the cranial skeleton including the diagnostic quadrate. Phylogenetic analysis shows this new taxon, P. kianda nov. sp., to be the sister taxon to all other species of Prognathodon. It is unique amongst Prognathodon in possessing a high marginal tooth count and relatively small pterygoid teeth. The tooth morphology in the new taxon is reminiscent of some species of the genus Liodon, allowing association of Liodon-like dentition with otherwise Prognathodon-like crania, and thus resolves the long-standing question of the phylogenetic affinities of Liodon.

2009
Jacobs, L. L., Mateus O., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Scotese C. R., Goswami A., Ferguson K. M., Robbins J. A., Vineyard D. P., & Neto A. B. (2009).  Cretaceous paleogeography, paleoclimatology, and amniote biogeography of the low and mid-latitude South Atlantic Ocean. Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France. 180, 333-341., Number 4 Abstract
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Jacobs, L., Polcyn M., Mateus O., Schulp, & Neto A. (2009).  The Cretaceous Skeleton Coast of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 121., Number 3 Abstract
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Jacobs, L. L., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Schulp A. S., & Neto A. (2009).  The Cretaceous Skeleton Coast of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 121–121., Number 3 Abstract
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Polcyn, M., Jacobs L., Mateus O., & Schulp A. (2009).  New specimens of Angolasaurus bocagei and comments on the early radiations of plioplatecarpine mosasaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 165., Number 3 Abstract
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Polcyn, M. J., Jacobs L. L., Mateus O., & Schulp A. S. (2009).  New specimens of Angolasaurus bocagei and comments on the early radiations of plioplatecarpine mosasaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 165–165., Number 3 Abstract
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Mateus, O., Jacobs L., Polcyn M., Schulp A. S., Vineyard D., Buta Neto A., & Telles Antunes M. (2009).  The oldest African eucryptodiran turtle from the Cretaceous of Angola. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 54, 581-588., Number 4 Abstract
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Vineyard, D. P., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Schulp A. S., & Strganac C. (2009).  Euclastes from the Maastrichtian of Angola and the distribution of the Angolachelonia. Eugene Gaffney Turtle Symposium. , Royal Tyrrell Museum
Jacobs, L. L., Mateus O., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Scotese C. R., Goswami A., Ferguson K. M., Robbins J. A., Vineyard D. P., & Neto A. B. (2009).  Cretaceous paleogeography, paleoclimatology, and amniote biogeography of the low and mid-latitude South Atlantic Ocean. BULLETIN DE LA SOCIETE GEOLOGIQUE DE FRANCE. 180, 333-341., Jan: Univ Agostinho Neto, Univ Nova Lisboa, So Methodist Univ, Univ Texas Arlington, Museu Lourinha, Nat Hist Museum Abstractjacobs_mateus_et_al_2009_cretaceous_paleogeography_paleoclimatology_and_amniote_biogeography_of_the_south_atlantic_ocean_angola_africa_currents.pdf

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Jacobs, L., Polcyn M., Mateus O., Schulp A. S., & Neto A. B. (2009).  The Cretaceous Skeleton Coast of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 121A., Jan Abstractjacobs_et_al_2009cretaceousskeletoncoas.pdfWebsite

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Mateus, O., Jacobs L., Polcyn M., Schulp A. S., Vineyard D., Neto A. B., & Antunes M. T. (2009).  The oldest African eucryptodiran turtle from the Cretaceous of Angola. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 54, 581-588., Jan: Univ Agostinho Neto, Univ Nova Lisboa, Museu Lourinha, Acad Ciencias Lisboa, Nat Hist Museum Maastricht, So Methodist Univ Abstractmateus_et_al_2009_the_oldest_african_angolachelys_angola_turtle.pdfWebsite

A new Late Cretaceous turtle, Angolachelys mbaxi gen. et sp. nov., from the Turonian (90 Mya) of Angola, represents the oldest eucryptodire from Africa. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Angolachelys mbaxi as the sister taxon of Sandownia harrisi from the Aptian of Isle of Wight, England. An unnamed turtle from the Albian Glen Rose Formation of Texas (USA) and the Kimmeridgian turtle Solnhofia parsonsi (Germany), are successively more distant sister taxa. Bootstrap analysis suggests those four taxa together form a previously unrecognized monophyletic clade of marine turtles, herein named Angolachelonia clade nov., supported by the following synapomorphies: mandibular articulation of quadrate aligned with or posterior to the occiput, and basisphenoid not visible or visibility greatly reduced in ventral view. Basal eucryptodires and angolachelonians originated in the northern hemisphere, thus Angolachelys represents one of the first marine amniote lineages to have invaded the South Atlantic after separation of Africa and South America.

2010
Polcyn, M. J., Jacobs L. L., Schulp A. S., & Mateus O. (2010).  The North African Mosasaur Globidens phosphaticus from the Maastrichtian of Angola. Historical Biology. 22, 175-185., Number 1 Abstract
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Araújo, R., Jacobs L., Polcyn M., Mateus O., & Schulp A. (2010).  Plesiosaurs from the Maastrichtian of Bentiaba, Namibe Province, Angola. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 70th Annual Meeting.. Abstractaraujo_polcyn_mateus__schulp_2010_plesiosaurs_from_maastrichtian_of_angola_svp10abstracts.pdf

Recent excavations at the Maastrichtian locality of Bentiaba, Namibe Province, in the southern part of Angola, have yielded high quality and partially articulated plesiosaur specimens that indicate at least three taxa were present. A new elasmosaurid is the most abundant and well-preserved plesiosaur taxon at Bentiaba. It is known from a complete articulated paddle and other elements of the skeleton, many of which remain to be collected. The most diagnostic elements so far recovered are the complete pelvic and pectoral girdles, which indicate that the Bentiaba elasmosaurid is probably a new genus because it bears an asymmetrical ventral process of the coracoids, a complete cordiform posterior coracoid vacuity, and pronounced excavation of the anterior border of the coracoids, among other characters. A polycotylid is [...]

Jacobs, L., Polcyn M., Araújo R., Strganac C., & Mateus O. (2010).  Physical drivers of evolution and the history of the marine tetrapod fauna of Angola. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 110A., Jan Abstractjacobs_et_al_mateus_2010_physical_drivers_marine_tetrapod_fauna_of_angola_svp10abstracts.pdf

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Jacobs, L. L., Polcyn M. J., Mateus O., Schulp A., Ferguson K., Scotese C., Jacobs B. F., Strganac C., Vineyard D., Myers T. S., & Morais M. L. (2010).  Tectonic Drift, Climate, and Paleoenvironment of Angola Since the Cretaceous. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 1:. 02., Jan Abstractjacobs_polcyn_mateus_et_al_2010_tectonic_drift_climate_and_paleoenvironment_of_angola_since_the_cretaceous.pdf

Africa is the only continent that now straddles arid zones located beneath the descending limbs of both the northern and southern Hadley cells, and it has done so since it became a distinct continent in the Early Cretaceous. Since that time, Africa has drifted tectonically some 12 degrees north and rotated approximately 45 degrees counterclockwise. This changing latitudinal setting and position of the landmass under the relatively stable Hadley Cells is manifested as southward migration of climatic zones over the past 132 million years. Data from kerogen, X-ray diffraction analysis of sedimentary matrix, carbon isotopes from shell samples and tooth enamel,new 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dates, pollen and plant macrofossils, and fossil vertebrates indicate a productive upwelling system adjacent to a coastal desert since the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean; however, the position of the coastal desert has migrated southward as Africa drifted north, resulting in today's Skeleton Coast and Benguela Current. This migration has had a profound effect on the placement of the West African coast relative to areas of high marine productivity and resulting extensive hydrocarbon deposits, on the placement of arid zones relative to the continent especially the Skeleton Coast desert, on the climatic history of the Congo Basin (which shows a Late Cretaceous decrease in aridity based on the relative abundance of analcime in the Samba core), and in reducing the southern temperate region of Africa from 17% of continental area during the Cretaceous to 2% today. We show here that these related geographic and environmental changes drove ecological and evolutionary adjustments in southern African floras and faunas, specifically with respect to the distribution of anthropoid primates, the occurrence of modern relicts such as the gnetalean Welwitschia mirabilis, endemism as in the case of ice plants, and mammalian adaption to an open environment as in springhares. Africa's tectonic drift through climate zones has been a first-order environmental determinant since the Early Cretaceous.