The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves. The Lycyaenas of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, together with some general considerations of the Transvaal fossil Hyaenids
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2010
1955 The Zoological Society of London
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London
Volume 124, Issue 4, pages 839–857, February 1955
How to Cite
Ewer, R. F. (1955), The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves. The Lycyaenas of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, together with some general considerations of the Transvaal fossil Hyaenids. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 124: 839–857. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1955.tb07820.x
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2010
- Received 25 January 1953
Two further specimens of Lycyaena silberbergi Broom have been found, one from the Sterkfontein Type Site and the other from Swartkrans. These include regions of the mandible anterior to what was present in Broom's type specimen, and permit the addition of some further details of the structure of this species.
A new species, Lycyaena nitidula, is described from Swartkrans. One fragment from the Sterkfontein Type Site probably also belongs to this species.
All the species of hyaenid at present known from the three sites, Kromdraai, Swartkrans and the Sterkfontein Type Site are tabulated. Their relationships to other hyaenids are discussed, and their implications as to the relative and absolute dates of the three deposits are considered. It is concluded that of the three deposits the Sterkfontein Type Site is the oldest, separated by only a short time interval from Swartkrans, with Kromdraai later still and separated from Swartkrans by a rather longer time interval. Kromdraai is estimated to be of early Pleistocene age, and Swartkrans and the Sterkfontein Type Site are considered to belong to the top of the upper Pliocene.