Volume 47 December 2012

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    Palaeontologia africana Volume 47
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 2012)
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    Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa - 16th Biennial Conference, Cape Town, 2012 - Abstracts
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, University of the Witwatersrand, 2012-12) Various
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    Skin: Its Biology in Black and White
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, University of the Witwatersrand, 2012-12) Jablonski, Nina G.
    Standard Bank/ PAST First Phillip Tobias Memorial Lecture
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    A new caprin bovid (Mammalia) from the late Miocene of Morocco
    (2012-12) Geraads, Denis; El Boughabi, Siham; Zouhri, Samir
    We describe here a bovid skull from the Upper Member of the Aït Kandoula Formation near Ouarzazate, Morocco, which can be dated by biostratigraphy to the late Miocene, Turolian-equivalent.We assign it to a new taxon, Skouraia helicoides, gen. nov., sp. nov. It has long horn-cores that are much inclined backwards, strongly spiralled in homonymous direction, very divergent, and have a strong anterolateral keel. The strong cranial flexure, broad basioccipital, and aegodont teeth demand inclusion of this new taxon within the tribe Caprini, a mostly Eurasian group with few African representatives. Skouraia must be an early offshoot of this tribe, but its highly derived cranial features suggest that the Caprini may have experienced, in the poorly known late Miocene of Africa, a broader morphological diversification than in Europe.
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    Morphometric analysis of modern human crania: a framework for assessing early Pleistocene homonids
    (2012-12) Odes, E.J.; Thackeray, J.F.
    Craniofacial measurements have been obtained from modern human skulls from cadavers representing several southern African population groups including Ndebele, Shangaan, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Xhosa and Zulu, in addition to European Homo sapiens. The measurements were obtained from crania in the Dart Collection housed at the School of Anatomical Sciences of the University of the Witwatersrand. Pairwise comparisons, using least squares linear regression analysis of cranial measurements, were used to calculate the standard error of them-coefficient associated with the general equation y = mx + c, where m is the slope of the regression line. The standard error of the m-coefficient is a measure of the degree of similarity between specimens. Log transformed s.e.m values (log s.e.m) show a normal distribution with a mean value of –1.84 ± 0.087 (n = 384 pairwise comparisons). These results can be used as a frame of reference for comparing Early Pleistocene specimens. For example, a comparison between KNM-ER 1813 (attributed to H. habilis) and KNM-ER 3733 (attributed to H. erectus or H. ergaster) is associated with a log s.e.m value of –1.844. Despite differences in size, these two penecontemporary hominid fossils are associated with a high probability of conspecificity, since the log s.e.m value is identical to the mean log s.e.m value of –1.84 obtained for pairwise comparisons of modern Homo sapiens.