The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves. The Hyaenidae, other than Lycyaena, of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein



A number of fossil hyaenids from the Swartkrans deposit are described, comprising:

  • 1 The skull mentioned by Broom (Broom & Robinson, 1952) and considered by him to belong to a species of Hyaenictis. Reasons are given for concluding that reference to that genus is incorrect and that this specimen must be placed in the genus Leecyaena Young & Liu. It is accordingly named Leecyaena forfex sp. n.
  • 2 A new species of Crocuta, C. venustula, allied to Crocuta ultra Ewer.
  • 3 A new subspecies of Hyaena brunnea Thunb., H. brunnea dispar.
  • 4 A new subspecies of Crocuta crocuta (Erxl.), C. crocuta angella.

Some hyaenid remains from the Sterkfontein Type Site, too incomplete for definite identification, are also described. These include a species of Hyaena, it trifle larger than the living H. brunnea, and a species of Crocuta, possibly identical with C. spelaea (Goldf.). The latter is very lightly fossilized and appears to be of more recent date than the rest of the material from the Sterkfontein Type Site.