- ItemNew skulls of Kolpochoerus phacochoeroides (Suidae: Mammalia) from the late Pliocene of Ahl al Oughlam, Morocco(BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2004) Geraads, DenisThe discovery of two male skulls of Kolpochoerus phacochoeroides from the late Pliocene of Ahl al Oughlam in Morocco, and the revision of the whole collection from this locality, allows us to extend the description of this North African form, to estimate its sexual dimorphism and the extent of individual variation in a large isochronous sample, to reveal some ontogenic changes, and to confirm its distinction as a species on its own, as its cranial proportions (large occipital, short snout) and tooth characters (lack of enamel on upper canines, reduced incisors and premolars, complicated third molars) set it clearly apart from the East and South African forms. A cladistic analysis shows that K. phacochoeroides and Hylochoerus are the terminal branches of the Kolpochoerus clade, which is the sister-group of Potamochoerus.
- ItemDamaliscus niro horns from Wonderwerk Cave and other Pleistocene sites: morphological and chronological considerations(BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2004) Thackeray, J. F.; Brink, J. S.Wonderwerk Cave, situated near Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, has yielded well-preserved horns of many antelope, including three horn fragments of Damaliscus niro. These specimens were discovered in the course of guano-mining operations in the 1940s. Remarkably, they retain a keratinous sheath. Dimensions of Pleistocene horn cores from Sterkfontein, Olduvai, Cornelia-Uitzoek, Florisbad and Maselspoort are used to assess the Wonderwerk specimens. Assuming that morphological variability can be used to assess relative chronology, we suggest that the Wonderwerk specimens date to the Middle Pleistocene, intermediate in age between specimens from Florisbad (between 400 000 and 100 000 years BP) and Cornelia-Uitzoek (c. 800 000 years BP). One of the Wonderwerk specimens has a radiocarbon date of close to the limit of the method.We interpret this to reflect an indefinite age of greater than 40 000 years ago. This is not in conflict with the suggested Middle Pleistocene age of the specimens. The horns are of further interest in that the keratin sheaths have carbon-nitrogen ratios that suggest the presence of protein suitable for ancient-DNA analysis.
- ItemOn the use of percussion cartridges to extract fossils from hard breccia(BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2004) Latham, A.G.; Crawford, T.C.The use of percussion cartridges (caps) affords a simple, quick, controlled and safe way to remove pieces of hard breccia from around fossils or to remove breccia pieces that contain fossil material.We have demonstrated its use over two field seasons to remove pieces of breccia containing quite small animal bones and it is as good as, or better than, the use of jackhammer drills and other methods. Safety procedures are simple but must be strictly followed at all times.
- ItemThe ultrastructure of Upper Palaeozoic and Mesozoic pollen from southern Africa and Asia(BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2004) Zavada, Michael S.The dispersed pollen taxa Cycadopites, Monosulcites, Bennetitteaepollenites, Pityosporites, and Inaperturopollenites recovered from Permian to Jurassic sediments in southern Africa and Asia were examined ultrastructurally. Cycadopites, Monosulcites, Bennetitteaepollenites and Inaperturopollenites wall structure is characterized by homogeneous outer layer that is variously lacunate, and is underlain by a lamellated basal layer. Only one species of Monosulcites recovered from Jurassic sediments of Afghanistan showed a well-developed tectum, an infrastructural layer composed of columellae, or irregularly shaped columellae underlain by a basal layer. The saccate pollen of Pityosporites has an infrastructural layer of irregularly shaped anastomosing rods, the sacci are formed by an expansion of infrastructural layer in the region of the saccus (i.e. protosaccate sensu Scheuring). A majority of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic saccate and non-saccate monosulcate pollen is characterized by limited morphological diversity with regard to sculpturing and wall structure type compared to the diversity in angiosperm monosulcate pollen; however, there are pre-Cretaceous monosulcate pollen types that exhibit angiospermous pollen characteristics.