Forelimb anatomy of Serengetilaguspraecapensis (Mammalia: Lagomorpha): a Pliocene leporid from Laetoli, Tanzania

Alisa J. Winkler, Dale A. Winkler, Terry Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The forelimb elements of the leporid Serengetilaguspraecapensis, from the famous Laetoli sites in Tanzania, occur in three stratigraphic levels. Most come from the Upper Laetolil Beds, the middle unit. Size frequency distributions of limb dimensions demonstrate one highly variable population with no clear trends through time. Statistical analyses cannot be used to support the presence of more than one species. Sexual dimorphism also is not apparent in the samples, but may have contributed to the variability in sizes. Anatomical traits of the forelimb ally Serengetilagus praecapensis with smaller, less cursorial leporids like the modern European rabbit Oryctolagus. Serengetilagus praecapensis has a predicted body mass in the range of 1.2–1.6 kg. Like some smaller modern rabbits, its forelimb suggests the capability for burrowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-263
Number of pages12
JournalHistorical Biology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2016



  • anatomy
  • Lagomorpha
  • Pliocene
  • Serengetilagus
  • Tanzania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this