New species of fox discovered at Malapa site in South Africa

The fossils of an extinct species of fox discovered at the Malapa site in Gauteng, South Africa, have recently been confirmed as a new species named Vulpes skinneri.

The paper ‘A new species of fox from the Australopithecus sediba type locality, Malapa, South Africa’, recently published in Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, describes the fossils of the new discovery and compares with a broad sample of other modern and fossil foxes and determines that these specimens are distinct enough to be referred to a new species.

The site of Malapa was first discovered in 2008 and has already gained recognition as the type site for Australopithecus sediba. Vulpes skinneri, named in honour of the late Professor John Dawson Skinner, long-time director of the University of Pretoria Mammal Research Institute, becomes the second new species to be described from this site.

Read the full article online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0035919X.2012.748698

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