By the beginning of the Late Cretaceous time period, about 100 million years ago, Africa had become isolated from the other landmasses of the southern supercontinent Gondwana. The African and Arabian plates remained connected and drifted slowly to the northeast as an island continent, separated from all other landmasses, until about 25 million years ago, when a significant faunal connection with Eurasia was first established. During its ~75 million years of Late Cretaceous and Paleogene isolation, Afro-Arabia witnessed a number of significant evolutionary events including the extinction of the dinosaurs and the origin and diversification of placental mammals. Unfortunately, the vertebrate fossil record of Africa during this critical interval is very poorly understood, particularly between about ~95 and ~55 million years ago. The Island Africa Project is a consortium of American and African vertebrate paleontologists and geologists working together to fill this major gap in our understanding of African prehistory through collaborative paleontological and geological exploration. Partners include Stony Brook University (USA), Ohio University (USA), Mansoura University (Egypt), National Museums of Kenya, and the Institut des Sciences Humaines (Mali).

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