Since the 1930s, the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (former Transvaal Museum) in Pretoria, South Africa, has served as one of the primary repositories for Pliocene and Pleistocene faunal specimens. This includes many non-hominin holotype and paratype specimens of primates, carnivores, and other mammals.
In an effort to increase accessibility of the Plio-Pleistocene Palaeontology Section collections, Dr. Justin W. Adams initiated a digitisation project in collaboration with Ms. Stephany Potze (curator of the Section) in 2014. With the assistance of graduate students Angela Olah and Matt McCurry, we have combined surface scanning (Artec Spider; Artec Group, Luxembourg) and computerized tomography (CT and microCT) to make available the first comprehensive digital archive of faunal specimens from the collections.
This archive has started by providing surface scan and tomographic data on all specimens in the DNMNH Plio-Pleistocene Section vault (the ‘Broom Room’) as described in Adams et al. (2015). Since the original publication we have expanded the archive to include further specimen surface scans, CT and microCT datasets (noted below as ‘Archive Version 2.0) that are summarised in this table. Further updates will be posted here as they become available.
All data is freely accessible through the online digital repository MorphoSource pending approval of a short research proposal and signed agreement acknowledging the conditions of access (to satisfy current Museum policy for access to curated heritage objects).
The application form and conditions of access are available here and can be submitted via email to Stephany Potze (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Justin Adams (email@example.com).
All surface meshes are available as STL and full-colour PLY and VRML (on request) and have been cross-checked as viewable in Artec Studio, MeshLab V1.3.2, Landmark Editor, and Rhino V4. The tomographic datasets (CT/microCT) are available as ZIP archived TIFF stacks (and several alternative formats on request). The DOI for all media files for each specimen currently available on MorphoSource are provided below.
Further information on this project is detailed in Adams et al. (2015) via the PLoS ONE website. Additionally an interview about the project can be found on 'The Integrative Paleontologists' Blog at PLOS One, see Part-1 and Part-2.
Brain, C., 1981. The hunters or the hunted? An introduction to African cave taphonomy. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Broom, R., 1936. A new fossil baboon from the Transvaal. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 18, 393-396.
Broom, R., 1937a. Notices of a few more new fossil mammals from the caves of the Transvaal. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 10, 509-514.
Broom, R., 1937b. Some new Pleistocene mammals from limestone caves of the Transvaal. S. Afr. J. Sci. 33, 750-768.
Broom, R., 1939. A preliminary account of the Pleistocene carnivores of the Transvaal caves. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 19, 331-338.
Broom, R., 1940. The South African Pleistocene cercopithecid apes. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 20, 89-100.
Broom, R., 1948. Some South African Pliocene and Pleistocene mammals. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 21, 1-38.
Broom, R., Robinson, J., 1950. A new sub-fossil baboon from Kromdraai, Transvaal. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 21, 242-245.
Broom, R., Robinson, J.T., 1952. Swartkrans ape-man Paranthropus crassidens. Mem. Transvaal Mus. 6, 1-123.
Churcher, C., 1956. The fossil Hyracoidea of the Transvaal and Taungs deposits. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 22, 477-501.
Churcher, C., 1970. The fossil Equidae from the Krugersdorp caves. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 26, 145-179.
Cooke, H.B.S., 1963. Pleistocene mammal faunas of Africa, with particular reference to southern Africa. In: Howell, F., Bourliere, F. (Eds.), African ecology and human evolution. Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago, pp. 65-116.
Cooke, H.B.S., 1991. Dinofelis barlowi (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) cranial material from Bolt's Farm, collected by the University of California African Expedition. Palaeont. Afri. 28, 9-21.
Cooke, H.B.S., 1993a. Fossil probocidean remains from Bolt's Farm and other Transvaal cave breccias. Palaeont. Afri. 30, 25-34.
Cooke, H.B.S., 1993b. Undescribed suid remains from Bolt's Farm and other Transvaal cave deposits. Palaeont. Afri. 30, 7-23.
Cooke, H.B.S., Unpub. report. South African Pleistocene mammals in the University of California collections. Department of Geology, Dalhousie University, pp. 124.
Cooke, H.B.S., Maglio, V., 1972. Plio-Pleistocene stratigraphy in East Africa in relation to proboscidean and suid evolution. In: Bishop, W., Miller, J. (Eds.), Calibration of hominoid evolution. Scottish Academic Press, Ediburgh, pp. 302-329.
Eisenhart, W., 1974. The fossil cercopithecoids of Makapansgat and Sterkfontein. BA Dissertation, Department of Anthropology. Harvard College, Cambridge, p. 61.
Ewer, R., 1954. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves. The Hyaenidae of Kromdraai. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 124, 565-585.
Ewer, R., 1955a. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves. The Hyaenidae, other than Lycyaena, of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 124, 815-857.
Ewer, R., 1955b. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves: Machairodontinae. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 125, 587-615.
Ewer, R., 1955c. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves: the Lycyaenas of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, together with some general considerations of the Transvaal fossil hyaenids. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 124, 839-857.
Ewer, R., 1956a. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves: Canidae. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 126, 7-119.
Ewer, R., 1956b. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves: Felinae. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 126, 83-95.
Ewer, R., 1956c. The fossil carnivores of the Transvaal caves: Two new viverrids, together with some general considerations. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 126, 259-276.
Ewer, R., 1956d. The fossil Suidae of the Transvaal caves. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 124, 565-585.
Freedman, L., 1957. The fossil Cercopithecoidea of South Africa. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 23, 121-262.
Freedman, L., Brain, C., 1972. Fossil cercopithecoid remains from the Kromdraai australopithecine site (Mammalia: Primates). Ann. Transvaal Mus. 28, 1-16.
Jones, T., 1937. A new fossil primate from Sterkfontein, Krugersdorp, Transvaal. S. Afri. J. Sci. 33, 709-728.
Maglio, V., 1973. Origin and evolution fo the Elephantidae. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 63, 1-149.
Turner, A., 1984a. The interpretation of variation in fossil specimens of spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta Erxleben, 1777) from Sterkfontein Valley Sites (Mammalia: Carnivora). Ann. Transvaal Mus. 33, 399-418.
Turner, A., 1984b. Panthera crassidens Broom, 1948. The cat that never was? S. Afri. J. Sci. 80, 227-233.
Turner, A., 1986. Miscellaneous carnivore remains from Plio-Pleistocene deposits in the Sterkfontein Valley (Mammalia: Carnivora). Ann. Transvaal Mus. 34, 203-226.
Turner, A., 1988. On the claimed occurence of the Hyaenid genus Hyaenictis Gaudry at Swartkrans (Mammalia: Carnivora). Ann. Transvaal Mus. 34, 523-533.
Turner, A., 1990. The evolution of the guild of larger terrestrial carnivores during the Plio-Pleistocene in Africa. Geobios 23, 349-368.