ItemThe formation and sedimentary infilling of the Limeworks Cave, Makapansgat, South Africa(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Latham, Alfred G.; Herries, Andy I. R.; Kuykendall, K.The remnant cavern of the Limeworks australopithecine site has a number of special features. Firstly, unlike Swartkrans and Sterkfontein, which developed in relatively flat relief, the Limeworks Cave developed as part of a mountain karst. Then upon abandonment by its formative river, there formeda unique, conjoined series of tall stalagmites and columns arranged in an irregular arc against the walls of the cavern. This arc had the effect of dividing up the space into a central volume and several lateral alcoves. The spaces were separated from each other, so that, when the cavern began to unroof, each came to be filled by its own surficial deposits or, in some cases, not at all. At only one level is it possible to show that a gap existed between two adjacent repositories so as to produce common, contemporaneous deposits. This turns out to be the hyena den layer known as the Grey Breccia, and a connection was made possible with the centre by spaces that existed at local roof level for a limited period. The Grey Breccia appears to be about contemporaneous with the white bone breccia at the back of the cavern, whereas the black bone breccia in theMain Quarry is slightly younger than these two. The recognition of distinctive depositional horizons has allowed us to reconstruct a stratigraphic section for all deposits from the known base to the known top on the western side of the site. This section can be used for magnetostratigraphic purposes to construct a firmer chronology that includes the Grey Breccia; but further work is required to tie in the eastern side. ItemBiological aspects of the Permian dicynodont Oudenodon (Therapsida: Dicynodontia) deduced from bone histology and cross-sectional geometry(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Botha, JenniferBone histology and cross-sectional geometry were used to examine the growth patterns and lifestyle habits of the Late Permian dicynodont, Oudenodon. Several limb bones were analysed, revealing rapidly deposited fibro-lamellar bone, interrupted by annuli or sometimes Lines of Arrested Growth. Peripheral slowly deposited parallel-fibred bone was observed in several elements. It is suggested that the initial growth of Oudenodon was rapid during the favourable growing season, but decreased or sometimes ceased completely during the unfavourable season. Growth was cyclical and may have been sensitive to environmental fluctuations. The slowly forming parallel-fibred bone towards the sub-periosteal surface in several elements indicates a permanent transition to slow growth and may reflect the onset of sexual maturity. Bone cross-sectional geometry results reveal a markedly thick cortex, indicating a possible modification for digging. These cross-sectional geometry values, in conjunction with the limb morphology, suggest that Oudenodon was fossorial. ItemA definite prosauropod dinosaur from the Lower Elliot Formation (Norian: Upper Triassic) of South Africa(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Yates, Adam M.A new sauropodomorph dinosaur specimen is described and identified as a prosauropod. It is tentatively placed as the sister taxon of Riojasaurus incertus from Argentina. The systematic position of all commonly accepted sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the Lower Elliott Formation of South Africa is reviewed and it is found that none can be positively identified as prosauropod. Euskelosaurus browni is a nomen dubium based on material that cannot be identified further than Sauropodomorpha. Blikanasaurus cromptoni and Antetonitrus ingenipes are basal sauropods. Melanorosaurus readi is probably another basal sauropod but opinion remains divided. Plateosauravus cullingworthi presents conflicting character data and at present is classified as Sauropodomorpha incertae sedis. Consequently the specimen described here represents the only prosauropod specimen currently recognized in the Lower Elliot Formation of South Africa. ItemPreservation and interpretation of pollen in hyaena coprolites: taphonomic observations from Spain and southern Africa(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Scott, Louis; Fernandez-Jalvo, Yolanda; Carrion, Jose; Brink, JamesA survey of palynological research on hyaena coprolites from 10 fossil sites in southern Africa and 4 from Spain shows that coprolites from 10 out of the 14 sites contained fossil pollen. Pollen-bearing coprolites are generally richer in pollen than the surrounding sediments. Provisionally it seems that the sites with poor or no pollen in coprolites are relatively old or have been exposed to wet and dry moisture fluctuations, namely Makapansgat, Gran Dolina, Redcliff Cave and Erfkroon. This suggests that conditions during their long histories eventually destroyed pollen through oxidation associated with regular saturation of sediments. The composition of pollen spectra and preservation of pollen grains from coprolites is compared with that in fresh hyaena dung. SEM studies suggest that pollen grains in fresh dung and in fossil coprolites if preserved under suitable cave conditions, are generally well preserved with little damage. The damage traits require further systematic investigation in order to assess their taphonomic significance but selective destruction of pollen through ingestion, if any, seems to be light. Of particular interest to palaeoenvironmental studies is the observation that pollen assemblages preserved in hyaena dung are likely to provide relatively unbiased characterizations of vegetation representative of the wide surroundings in which the hyaenas were active. This implies that where pollen was relatively wellpreserved in coprolites, it can provide palaeoenvironmental information extending beyond the immediate environs of the site in which they were found. Any possible bias introduced through behaviour-related pollen trapping is, however, difficult to exclude. ItemThe vertebrate fauna of the Upper Permian of Niger — II, Preliminary description of a new pareiasaur(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Sidor, Christian A.; Blackburn, David C.; Gado, BoubeThe skull of a new pareiasaur, Bunostegos akokanensis gen. et sp. nov., is described on the basis of a partial skull from the Upper Permian Moradi Formation of north-central Niger. Autapomorphies of the genus include the presence of three hemispherical bosses at the tip of the snout, an enlarged laterally projecting supraorbital boss positioned on each postfrontal, and additional, smaller bosses on the squamosal and supratemporal bones. Bunostegos is further characterized by a tab-like process of the nasal that articulates with the frontal, a pineal foramen located equidistant between the parietal-frontal and parietal-postparietal sutural contacts, a postparietal that is excluded from the caudal margin of the dorsal skull roof, and a blunt interpterygoid vacuity. The discovery of Bunostegos suggests an unsuspected degree of biogeographic endemism for central West Africa during the Late Permian. ItemA taxonomic note concerning a dicynodont (Synapsida: Anomodontia) from the Middle Triassic of East Africa(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Renaut, A. J.; Damiani, R. J.; Hancox, P. J.The complicated histories of the Indian dicynodont Rechnisaurus and the East African dicynodont Kannemeyeria cristarhynchus has led to the incorrect use of the name ‘cristarhynchus’ for the latter taxon. This paper therefore proposes a new species name and diagnosis. ItemBarendskraal, a diverse amniote locality from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone, Early Triassic of South Africa(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003) Damiani, Ross; Neveling, Johann; Modesto, Sean; Yates, AdamA diverse amniote fauna has been recovered from Lower Triassic Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone exposures on the farm Barendskraal, near Middelburg in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The fauna includes the dicynodont therapsid Lystrosaurus sp., the therocephalian therapsids Tetracynodon darti, Moschorhinus kitchingi and Ericiolacerta parva, the archosauromorph reptiles Proterosuchus fergusi and Prolacerta broomi, and the procolophonoid reptiles Owenetta kitchingorum, Sauropareion anoplus and Saurodectes rogersorum. The locality is remarkable in that although it is fossil-rich, Lystrosaurus fossils do not appear to be as abundant as elsewhere in this assemblage zone, and the diversity of taxa at Barendskraal (at least nine species) is surpassed only by that of the famous HarrismithCommonage locality in the northeastern Free State province (at least 13 species). However, the fauna at Harrismith Commonage is typical of most other Lystrosaurus biozone localities in being dominated numerically by Lystrosaurus. Study of the tetrapod taxa from Barendskraal is providing new insights into procolophonoid phylogeny and survivorship across the Permo-Triassic boundary, as well as the stratigraphic ranges of various taxa in the Lower Triassic deposits of the Karoo Basin. ItemA review of Robert Broom’s therapsid holotypes: have they survived the test of time?(BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2003) Wyllie, AlistairWhile still a medical student in Scotland in the late 1880s, Robert Broom had already identified the principal aim of his scientific career as being ‘to solve the problem of the origin of the mammals’. In Australia, between 1892 and 1896, his work on extant and fossil marsupials and monotremes established that, contrary to the then prevailing scientific opinion which supported a polyphyletic origin for mammals from a diverse range of amphibians and reptiles, the most important living class had been monophyletically derived, most likely from a lineage of Karoo therapsid reptiles. Later, on a trip to the United States in 1909/10 he revived the theory which proposed the existence of a close relationship between the South African therapsids and the Permian ‘pelycosaur’ reptiles of North America. The third, and most extensive element of Broom’s task was carried out almost exclusively in South Africa over a period spanning more than half a century during which he created 369 therapsid holotypes, 168 of which were allocated to new genera. This paper establishes that of those holotypes, approximately 57% currently remain valid according to the parameters defined herein. While such a figure may initially seem to support Broom’s reputation as an ‘arch splitter’, it may equally be reflective of the fragmentary state of therapsid systematics at the time when Broom carried out the majority of his research. Today, Broom is most widely-remembered for the celebrated series of fossil hominid discoveries which he made towards the end of his life in the limestone caves of the Transvaal. However, because the task of unravelling the story of the evolution of the mammals was the one which first motivated his interest in science and which formed the single continuous thread running throughout a long and otherwise varied career, it is perhaps still more accurate to view Broom principally as one of the great Karoo (and, in particular, therapsid) palaeontologists. ItemA review of the South African temnospondyl amphibian record(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2003-12) Damiani, RJ; Rubidge, BSThe Karoo of South Africa preserves a near-unbroken sequence of sedimentary rocks and associated vertebrate fauna from the Late Carboniferous to the Middle Jurassic periods. These rocks host a rich temnospondyl amphibian record from the Late Permian to the Early Jurassic. This record is amongst the most diverse temnospondyl record in the world and comprises 10 higher-level taxa, most of which occur in the Triassic part of the sequence and which is dominated by members of the Stereospondyli, with lesser representation by two Palaeozoic lineages. This paper presents a synthesis of the South African temnospondyl amphibian record and highlights the most recent advances in their taxonomy and biostratigraphic placement.