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Eastern Africa dries up into savannah

6 million years – 6 meters

Argentavis magnificens was a bird of prey from South America. Its wing span was ove 7 metres. (Roman Uchytel)

The rise of the bedrock at the Strait of Gibraltar and the fluctuations of the sea-level isolate Mediterranean. As an inland sea it dries multiple times into a salt desert. Eastern Africa dries up and the ape man moves to the savannah. The largest known bird, Argentavis, with a wingspan of over 7 m, flies in the skies of South America searching for carrion.

Image: Africa dries up to savannah. Thomas Wagner | Wikimedia

Rising of the base rock in the Gibraltar straight and the fluctuating sea levels cause the isolation of the Mediterranean Sea as a closed basin. This leads to its evaporation, through Dead Sea-like hyper salty stages, into a salt-desert which locates even 2 kilometres below the surface level of the Atlantic. Ocean levels sink even by 60 meters, due to strong glaciations. There is active continental drifting in the African continent, which leads to the opening of the East-African drift valley. Eastern Africa goes dries. Cool and dry climates produce now large grass- and savannah areas. At this time lineages leading to chimpanzees, and to the modern humans were separated from each others. Most of the present-day animals exist already at this time; the difference to current time is only their distribution. Argentavis, the largest ever known bird capable of flying, exists in the Southern America, with a wing span of over 7 meters.

Argentavis magnificens from the Southern America had a wing span of over 7 meters. Image: Roman Uchytel