Figure 1. Frontal views of D. neanica
An unexpected fossil find at Langebaanweg was the boselaphine antelope as boselaphine antelopes occur today only in Asia. The Langebaanweg form, Mesembripaortac acrae
, may represent a late survivor in southern Africa of an ancient lineage. The
fossils at Langebaanweg are unique in being among the oldest known representatives of these tribes (Gentry 1980).
The two alcelaphine species, Damalacra neanica
(Fig.1) and Damalacra acalla
(Fig.2), are of particular interest as their dental
suggests a very similar, but not identical lifestyle and feeding ecology. D. neanica
is more ,
and having shorter premolar rows. This suggests
Figure 2. Frontal views of D. acalla
which is what one may expect in two closely related sympatric alcelaphines. D. neanica
shows body size proportions that are almost identical to the extant blesbok, although Damalacra acalla
is also similar in size.
Our thanks to Dr James Brink for supplying the above information.
GENTRY, A. W. 1980. Fossil bovidae (Mammalia) from Langebaanweg, South Africa. Annals of the South African Museum 79(8): 213-337.
Click here to read a paper on "Morphological and trophic distinction in the dentitions of two early alcelaphine bovids from Langebaanweg (genus Damalacra)."