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Kimberley, South Africa

Kamler J.F.,University of Oxford | Stenkewitz U.,University of Oxford | Sliwa A.,Cologne Zoo | Wilson B.,McGregor Museum | And 3 more authors.
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2015

The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) is sympatric with several species of larger carnivores, although it is not known how this species partitions resources with potential competitors. From 2006 to 2008, we captured, radio-collared, and monitored 3 adult black-footed cats on Benfontein Game Farm in South Africa. We investigated their spatial, habitat, temporal, and dietary overlap with Cape foxes (Vulpes chama), bat-eared foxes (Otocyon megalotis), and black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) that were monitored during a concurrent study. Annual home range sizes of black-footed cats were 7.1km2 for the adult female, and 15.6 and 21.3km2 for the two adult males. Home ranges overlapped completely with the canid species, whereas core areas overlapped the most with jackals (79%), compared to Cape foxes (28%) and bat-eared foxes (21%). Within home ranges, black-footed cats selected habitats in proportion to availability, similar to Cape foxes, but in contrast to jackals and bat-eared foxes. Black-footed cats were primarily nocturnal, and their activity patterns significantly differed from jackals (P<0.001), marginally differed from bat-eared foxes (P=0.082), but did not differ from Cape foxes (P=0.717). Dietary overlap of black-footed cats was high with Cape foxes (R0=0.83), compared to jackals (R0=0.42) and bat-eared foxes (R0=0.12). Two black-footed cats were killed by predation, at least one of which appeared to be by jackals. We conclude that black-footed cats coexisted with jackals by using burrows during the day, and by partitioning activity and diets, but not space. In contrast, black-footed cats appeared to coexist with Cape foxes by partitioning space, but not habitats, activity, or diets. Black-footed cats exhibited relatively low amounts of overlap with bat-eared foxes across resources. Our results show that black-footed cats partitioned resources differently among the sympatric canids, which ultimately facilitated coexistence with these larger carnivores. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source


Jacobson L.,McGregor Museum | Jacobson L.,Cape Peninsula University of Technology | De Beer F.C.,Radiation Science | Nshimirimana R.,Radiation Science
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2011

We demonstrate the use of both neutron- and X-ray imaging in two projects. The first project, using both the methods to view the temper in a ceramic sherd in order to model the effect the chemical composition of the temper has on the bulk chemical composition of the sherd showed that X-ray imaging is superior to neutron imaging for a ceramic. The second project, to establish whether apparent incised lines on stone slabs (dated to greater than 180,000 years ago) are natural or artificial, i.e., whether they were deliberately incised or natural, random striations showed conclusively that the incisions are in fact surface manifestations of natural internal fractures in the rock. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Matthee S.,Stellenbosch University | Van Der Mescht L.,Stellenbosch University | Wilson B.,McGregor Museum | Lamberski N.,Veterinary Clinical Operations Manager
African Zoology | Year: 2011

Small carnivores are parasitized by various ectoparasites that include fleas (Siphonaptera). To date few parasite studies in South Africa, and especially the Northern Cape, have focused on fleas, while those that have are biased by small sample sizes. In an attempt to address the paucity of information fleas were collected from five small carnivore species trapped at Loxton and Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The aim of the study was to contribute to current data on the flea diversity found on various small carnivore species. Small carnivores were trapped and while anesthetized the fleas were manually removed from the fur of the animals. In total 48 small carnivores were trapped of which 30 harboured fleas. Of the five flea species that were recorded the most numerous and prevalent was Echidnophaga gallinacea followed by Ctenocephalides connatus and Ctenocephalides damarensis. Fleas were more numerous and prevalent on the small-spotted cat, Felis nigripes, followed by the yellow mongoose, Cynictispenicillata. The flea community on the small carnivores consisted of fleas that prefer carnivores as principal hosts and also fleas that prefer rodents. The latter maybe acquired through predation on rodents. Source


Voelker G.,Texas A&M University | Bowie R.C.K.,University of California at Berkeley | Bowie R.C.K.,University of Cape Town | Wilson B.,McGregor Museum | Anderson C.,McGregor Museum
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2012

Phylogenetic relationships among eight of nine Myrmecocichla chat species were inferred from DNA data. Bayesian posterior probabilities and maximum-likelihood bootstrap percentages strongly supported most branches in the phylogeny. Based on these results, Myrmecocichla, as currently defined, is not monophyletic. The results indicated that Myrmecocichla albifrons is part of a Cercomela+Oenanthe clade, whereas Oenanthe monticola is shown to be a Myrmecocichla. In addition, Myrmecocichla arnotti is shown to be polyphyletic. Phylogenetic analyses support three Southern versus Eastern or Northern speciation events. The dating of these speciation events suggests that they correspond to periods when the Afrotropical forests were expanded to coastal Kenya, 3-5Mya. This forest expansion thus served as a vicariant driver of speciation in the genus, a result consistent with speciation patterns in other arid-adapted African bird genera. Our haplotype analysis within one of the most widespread and habitat diverse Myrmecocichla species (formicivora, a southern African endemic) showed little genetic variation. Along with speciation patterns shown for Myrmecocichla and other avian genera, this lack of standing variation would appear to support large, inter-regional drivers of speciation as having the largest effect on the diversification of arid-adapted Africa bird species, which is in stark contrast to other vertebrate lineages whose genetic structure often shows strong intra-regional effects. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London. Source


Smith P.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Nshimirimana R.,NECSA | De Beer F.,NECSA | Morris D.,McGregor Museum | And 4 more authors.
South African Journal of Science | Year: 2012

The Canteen Kopje (CK) skull was found by a diamond digger working the Vaal River gravels in 1929. It was hailed by Robert Broom as an exceptionally robust prehistoric individual that was ancestral to modern South African populations. Further exploration of the Vaal Gravels has confirmed the antiquity of the purported find locality, but the heavily restored CK cranium offers limited possibilities for morphometric re-examination or direct dating with which to test Broom's assertion. We used X-ray tomography to create a computerised 3D image that would provide optimal visualisation of the morphometry of the bony surfaces. The results showed that the CK cranium falls within the range of variation of Holocene Khoesan and lacks archaic features. We propose that it was probably a Late Stone Age intrusion into the Vaal Gravels or the overlying Hutton Sands. © 2012. The Authors. Source

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