In this study we use fish remains recovered at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, dated to 0.78. Ma, to reconstruct for the first time the fish community of paleo-Lake Hula. From Area A at the site, we identified 13 species belonging to three of the five recent native families of freshwater fish: Cyprinidae (carps), Cichlidae (Tilapinii, St. Peter fish), and Clariidae (catfish). The identified taxa included species endemic to Lake Hula, Tristramella simonis intermedia (Cichlidae) and Mirogrex hulensis (Cyprinidae), demonstrating continuity in the fish community for the last 0.8. million years. In addition, some of the species-specific bones exhibited different morphotypes that raise the possibility of the past existence of other endemic species of cyprinids and catfish in the lake, including the large molluskivores Luciobarbus sp. (formerly Barbus). The paleoenvironmental implications of the identified ichthyofauna for the complexity of the aquatic habitat of paleo-Lake Hula are discussed.
- Middle Pleistocene
- Pharyngeal bone