Navigation Links
Previous unknown fox species found

Researchers from Wits University and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, together with international scientists announced on Tuesday, 22 January 2012, the discovery of a two million year old fossil fox at the now renowned archaeological site of Malapa in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

In an article published in the prestigious journal Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, the researchers describe the previously unknown species of fox named Vulpes Skinneri - named in honour of the recently deceased world renowned South African mammalogist and ecologist, Prof. John Skinner of the University of Pretoria.

The site of Malapa has, since its discovery in 2008, yielded one of the most extraordinary fossil assemblages in the African record, including skeletons of a new species of human ancestor named Australopithecus sediba, first described in 2010.

The new fox fossils consist of a mandible and parts of the skeleton and can be distinguished from any living or extinct form of fox known to science based on proportions of its teeth and other aspects of its anatomy.

Dr. Brian Kuhn of Wits' Institute for Human Evolution (IHE) and the School of GeoSciences, an author on the paper and head of the Malapa carnivore studies explains: "It's exciting to see a new fossil fox. The ancestry of foxes is perhaps the most poorly known among African carnivores and to see a potential ancestral form of living foxes is wonderful".

Prof. Lee Berger, also of the IHE and School of GeoSciences, author on the paper and Director of the Malapa project notes: "Malapa continues to reveal this extraordinary record of past life and as important as the human ancestors are from the site, the site's contribution to our understanding of the evolution of modern African mammals through wonderful specimens like this fox is of equal import. Who knows what we will find next?".

The entire team has expressed their privilege in naming the new species after "John Skinner, one of the great names in the study of African mammals and particularly carnivores. We (the authors) think that John would be pleased, and it is fitting that this rare little find would carry his name forever."


Contact: Erna van Wyk
University of the Witwatersrand

Related biology news :

1. In protein folding, internal friction may play a more significant role than previously thought
2. Coppers previously unknown exit strategy
3. Green plants reduce city street pollution up to 8 times more than previously believed
4. Vitamin D supplements do not improve cholesterol as previous research suggested
5. Previously unknown mechanism identified in oncogene-induced senescence
6. Most-used diabetes drug works in different way than previously thought
7. Carp dominate crayfish in invasive species battleground
8. New species of deep-sea catshark described from the Galapagos
9. Global warming threat to coral reefs: Can some species adapt?
10. Hiding in plain sight, a new frog species with a weird croak is identified in New York City
11. Hiding in plain sight, new frog species found in New York City
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Previous unknown fox species found
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... and secure authentication solutions, today announced that it ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop ... Thor program. "Innovation has been a ... IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to innovate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona ... market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings ... mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell therapy ... limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ... of limbs saved as compared to standard bone ... molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
Breaking Biology Technology: