Volume 32 1995

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    African fossil Lissamphibia
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1995) van Dijk, D. E.
    The Anura (Frogs and Toads) are represented in Africa and associated regions by fossils of every epoch from the Cretaceous to the Holocene. Pipid frogs of African affinity are known from the Early Cretaceous of Israel and Later Cretaceous of South America and Africa; those of Israel and South America have been well-studied, but only one from Africa has been: Eoxenopoides reuningi from Namaqualand. Two well-studied Palaeocene frogs of South America, Shelania pascuali and Xenopus romeri, have affinities with the African pipids. Apart from a Miocene assemblage from North Africa (including pipids, which are now exclusively sub-Saharan) and one species from Namibia, Xenopus stromeri, the fossil African anurans remain largely unstudied. Deposits in which the African anuran fossils occur represent crater lakes, other lacustrine deposits, including lacustrine tuffs, river terraces, deltas, estuarine/lagoon zones, karst landscapes and archaeological sites; data are not available for several of the recorded fossils. No fossils in Africa appear to have been definitely ascribed to the Urodela or Caecilia.
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    An aggregation of juvenile Youngina from the Beaufort Group, Karoo Basin, South Africa
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1995) Smith, Roger M. H.; Susan, E. Evans
    An assemblage of five fully-articulated juvenile skeletons of Youngina has been recovered from the Late Permian strata of the south-western Karoo Basin. These 12-cm-long skeletons are not only the first articulated juveniles of this taxon, but also the oldest yet found in the Karoo Basin. They are preserved in overbank mudrocks of the Hoedemaker Member (Beaufort Group, Adelaide Subgroup) on the farm Leeukloof 43 in the Beaufort West district. Although they are estimated to be some three million years older than previously described Youngina, these specimens show no significant skeletal differences. The high degree of articulation and the spatial arrangement of these skeletons in a dish-shaped hollow is compelling evidence for them having huddled together within an underground burrow. Taphonomic analysis of associated fossils indicates that this was probably a mechanism to reduce water loss during drought on the ancient Karoo floodplains .
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    Karoo supergroup palaeontology of Namibia and brief description of a Thecodont from Omingonde
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1995) Pickford, Martin
    Karoo strata crop out extensively in Namibia. Numerous and diverse fossils have been collected from three areas - Karasberg, Kalahari and Huab Karoo basins. Although a great deal of research has been done on these strata and their fossil content, the literature is scattered and no publication has been devoted to a detailed review of what has been achieved. This paper presents a review based principally on a literature search allied to personal experience of some of the fossils and field trips to a few localities. It cannot pretend to be an in-depth review. The Namibian Karoo outcrops are so extensive and the palaeontological remains so diverse, that several years of intensive research would be required to achieve such a work. Tragically, many of the fossils mentioned in the text have been lost or their whereabouts are unknown. A small sample of fossils is housed in the Geological Survey Museum, Windhoek, and other fossils are known to be curated by the South African Museum, Cape Town, the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, Witwatersrand University and the Geological Survey of South Africa, Pretoria. A thecodont from the Omingonde Formation (Upper Triassic) is described briefly.
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    Dentition and feeding niche of Endothiodon (Synapsida; Anomodontia).
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1995) Latimer, E. M.; Gow, C. E.; Rubidge, B. S.
    The cranial morphology and extensive dentition of the dicynodont therapsid Endothiodon are different from those of any other dicynodont and it clearly had a different feeding niche. Recently prepared material from Mozambique which has relatively well preserved dentition has revealed that the mode of tooth replacement of Endothiodon differs in the upper and lower jaws. The very high and narrow vaulted palate with a close fitting, pointed lower jaw indicates that Endothiodon had a small mouth with muscular cheeks and extensive cheek pouches, suggesting a browsing feeding niche.
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    More fossil wood from the Namaqualand coast, South Africa; onshore material.
    (Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1995) Bamford, Marion K.; Corbett, Ian B.
    Fossil wood was collected from a palaeo-beach sequence on the farms Sandkop, Oubeep and adjacent State land, on the Namaqualand (west) coast of South Africa. Of the 14 samples sectioned only 5 were well enough preserved to describe and identify to species level. The woods are podocarpaceous and have been assigned to the taxa Podocarpoxylon cf. umzambense, Mesembrioxylon woburnense, M. stokesi and Mesembrioxylon sp. The samples are Lower Cretaceous in age and were most probably reworked a number of times into successively younger palaeoshoreline deposits. The same species occurred in the offshore sediments, therefore indicating a wider area of "woodland" and further evidence of extensive shelf erosion by subsequent marine transgressions and regressions.