Volume 30 1993

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    Palaeontologia africana Volume 30
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1993)
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    Statistical analysis of skulls of Triassic proterosuchids (Reptilia, Archosauromorpha) from South Africa
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1993) Welman, Johann; Fleming, Alex
    Size-related differences have previously been considered to be important in distinguishing the four proterosuchian archosauromorph species described from South Africa. Previous authors hypothesized that these differences were due to allometric growth. In this study, a statistical analysis of 85 parameters measured in 12 skulls, including all the type specimens, has been carried out. The results show that all the specimens can be fitted into a growth series, supporting a hypothesis expressed by Cruickshank (1972). Variation in the growth rate of parts of the proterosuchid skull and the possible functional significance of such allometric growth patterns are investigated. On the basis of specimens measured in this study and assuming that they all belong to a single species, it would appear that the South African proterosuchids did not display a strong degree of sexual dimorphism.
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    Glimpses from Gondolin: a faunal analysis of a fossil site near Broederstroom, Transvaal, South Africa
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1993) Watson, V
    The faunal analysis of a Plio-pleistocene site near Broederstroom, 34km north west of Pretoria, in the Transvaal has revealed a fossil fauna possibly as old as 2 million years. A single Homo sapiens tooth probably more recent than the rest of the deposit was recovered. Twenty seven mammal taxa were recovered with Redunca arundinum, the reedbuck, being the most common and the fossil klipspringer Oreotragus major the next most common. A large metridiochaerine suid was well represented. Primate remains were remarkable by their absence. From damage to the bones the most likely collecting agent was leopard. The fauna suggests a hilly grassy environment with permanent water and rocky outcrops. Open grass plains must have been in relatively close vicinity of the dolomite cave.
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    Variability in shape of the dental arcade of Homo sapiens in Late Pleistocene and modern samples from southern Africa
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1993) Thackeray, J Francis; Kieser, J A
    Mandibles are among the most common skeletal elements of Late Pleistocene specimens of Homo sapiens from southern African sites (notably Klasies River Mouth and Border Cave). For this reason mandibles have been selected for study to compare with samples drawn from modem populations (including South African negroes, Khoisanoid "Bushmen" and caucasoids). An analysis of shape of the dental arcade, based on the spatial distribution of molars, premolars and canines, indicates that several of the Late Pleistocene samples (including KRM 41815) are outside the range of variation found in modem African and caucasoid populations, and in this respect, cannot be described as "anatomically modem", sensu strictu. There appears to be a trend in the process of modernisation, from very flared dental arcades (notably in the case of the Kabwe skull, representing "archaic" H. sapiens), through moderately flared arcades (as found in Late Pleistocene "nearly modem" samples) towards a less flared condition which is found in modern Africans and caucasoids.