oa Annals of the Transvaal Museum - Identification and description of the first (Primates: Cercopithecidae) material from Bolt's Farm, South Africa

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-1752



The remains of the large cercopithecoid primate were recently recognized in the Bolt's Farm collection at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, South Africa. The material consists of an isolated tooth fragment as well as one badly damaged but very large mandible preserving parts of both corpora and elements of a worn dentition. The specimens are described here and compared to other large Plio-Pleistocene cercopithecine monkey taxa from South Africa, specifically and . The specimens are attributed to and most probably on the basis of their overall size and distinctive mandibular / dental morphology. These specimens represent the first documentation of Theropithecus at Bolt's Farm, a site which has also produced other cercopithecoid monkey specimens. Furthermore, an attribution of the specimens to would potentially represent the earliest occurrence of this subspecies in South Africa.The Main Quarry at Bolt's Farmis estimated to be 1.5 - 2.0 million years old, and preliminary palaeoenvironmental reconstructions indicate a grassland mosaic with some small bushes and trees; a water source is also reconstructed nearby. Previous authors have noted that is almost exclusively found in palaeoenvironments with a large source of water nearby, and the presence of at Bolt's Farm supports this hypothesis. In addition, the presence of at Bolt's Farm further illustrates the success of the species in South Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene and adds to a relatively large cercopithecoid fauna at the site containing other taxa such as and .

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