ISSN 1816-8396 print version
ISSN 2305-7963 online version



Scope and policy

The Journal publishes research and review articles in the areas of natural history of Africa including anthropology, archeology, geology, paleontology, entomology, and vertebrate and invertebrate zoology.

African Natural History publishes papers on the natural history of Africa, with particular emphasis on research linked to systematics, biodiversity, zoology, geology and palaeontology. A single volume of the journal in electronic format is published annually (a printed version was also published for volumes 1–7, from 2005 to 2011; ISSN 1816–8396). All contributions will be reviewed by at least two external referees. The final decision for publication, however, rests with the Editorial Board. Page charges to cover the cost of publication may be negotiated.


Form and preparation of manuscripts


Editorial procedure
All contributions will be reviewed by the editorial committee and two external referees. The final decision for publication, however, rests with the editorial committee.

Preparation and style of manuscripts
Authors should submit an electronic version of the manuscript in Microsoft Word, in A4 page size (297 × 210 mm), and double–spaced throughout with 30 mm wide margins on both sides. Tables and figures can be included in the text or appended to the end of the document. Publication quality electronic versions of all illustrations need only be submitted once the paper has been accepted for publication. Manuscripts should be paginated serially, starting with the title page. Footnotes should be avoided unless short and deemed necessary. Authors are responsible for the scientific content and accuracy of the text. Manuscripts that do not conform to the standards required, will be returned to the authors for revision before copies are sent for review. Only manuscripts written in English will be considered for publication. Authors whose first language is not English should seek the assistance of a competent linguist prior to submission. British, not American, English spelling should be used. The metric system of SI (Système International) must be used for most units. If the original measurements were made in imperial units, conversion figures should be included in the text, and a double scale with both types of units added to maps and figures. Time should be referred to in terms of the 24 hour clock (23:45), and dates in the form of 21 May 1945. Authors should be consistent in the use of stratigraphic nomenclature. As a rule, the use of 'lower' and 'upper' should refer to rocks, whereas 'early' and 'late' should be used for time units, e.g. early Cenomanian, late Maastrichtian.


  1. Title. This should be as short as possible but informative, and include the geographic, taxonomic and stratigraphic limits where applicable. The title should not include abbreviations, numerical values or active verbs, nor the names of new genera and species.
  2. Author's(s) name(s)
  3. Physical address(es) of authors where the work was carried out and e–mail address(es).
  4. Number of figures and/or tables.
  5. Abstract. An abstract of not more than 200 words which should summarize the main facts and conclusions and be intelligible to the reader without reference to the text. It must not read as an introduction to the text and should not contain abbreviations or references.
  6. Key words. Up to seven of these should be provided at the end of the abstract and in lower case unless by convention capitalized, and separated by commas.
  7. Table of contents giving hierarchy of headings and subheadings.
  8. Introduction
  9. Subject matter of the paper divided into sections to correspond with those given in table of contents.
  10. Summary, if the paper is lengthy.
  11. Acknowledgements. Keep these as short as possible.
  12. References.
  13. Abbreviations, where these are numerous.

All illustrations, whether photographs or line–drawings are termed figures. Illustrations should be submitted in TIFF, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator format. Use of colour is encouraged.

  • Photographic conventions should be adhered to as far as possible. For example, specimens are to be illuminated from the top left (NW).Fossil material should, where possible, be coated with ammonium chloride prior to photography. Single photographs should normally use the full width of a page or column of text. Each photograph should have a metric scale of magnification; alternatively, the magnification should be indicated in the figure caption. Magnifications should ideally be rational fractions or multiples, e.g. ×0.5, ×1, ×2; not, for example, ×1.65
  • Illustrations should be reducible to the width of a single column of text, or to the size of a printed page of this journal. All lettering should be legible and clear and, after reduction, not be less than 1 mm in height when printed.
  • If Excel diagrams are submitted, each must be placed on a separate page in Microsoft Word, or saved as a Windows metafile or enhanced metafile (.WMF; .EMF).
  • Black–and–white line–drawings must be scanned in monochrome at 1200 dpi, not as RGB or greyscale images.
  • No specialized fonts should be used in labelling. Use Arial/Swiss/Helvetica only. (If a specialized font is unavoidable in material sent electronically, supply the font itself as well, in TrueType or in PostScript Type 1 format.)

Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the references. Manuscripts with obvious incomplete or inaccurate references will be returned to the authors. All references cited in the text, synonymies, explanations to figures and tables should be included in the list of references.

  1. References in the text should be as follows:
    Kennedy (1988) described
    Kennedy (1988, p. 108, fig. 15) described
    As described (Reeside 1927a, 1927b; Cobban 1951)
    As described (Cooper & Kennedy, p. 119)
    As described (Gale et al. 1996)
    Note, no comma separating name and year.
    Names of joint authors connected by an ampersand and et al. in text for more than two joint authors, but names of authors in full in list of references.

  2. Full references at the end of the paper, arranged alphabetically by names, chronologically within each name, with suffixes a, b etc. for more than one paper by the same author in that year. For books give title in italics, edition, volume number, number of pages, figures and tables, place of publication, publisher. Titles of journals should be in italics, and spelt out in full. All words in journal titles apart from, for example, a, the, of, and etc., should be capitalized. Volume number in bold, part number normal, followed by : and page numbers. Plate and figure numbers to be included if separate from pagination. Translate only those titles that are in non–Latin alphabets and indicate original language in square brackets [ ]

    Article in journal

    ADKINS, W.S. 1928. Handbook of Texas Cretaceous fossils. University of Texas Bulletin 2838: 1–385, pls 1–37.

    BANDEL, K., LANDMAN, N.H. & WAAGE, K.M. 1982. Micro–ornament on early whorls of Mesozoic ammonites: implications for early ontogeny. Journal of Paleontology 56(2): 386–391, text-figs 1–2.

    COBBAN, W.A. 1962a. New Baculites from the Bearpaw Shale and equivalent rocks of the Western Interior.Journal of Paleontology 36(1): 125–135, pls 25–28.

    COBBAN, W.A. 1962b.Baculites from the lower Part of the Pierre Shale and equivalent rocks in the Western Interior. Journal of Paleontology 36(4): 704–718, pls 105–108.

    KOSSMAT, F. 1895–1898. Untersuchungen über die Südindische Kreideformation.Beiträge zur Paläontologie und Geologie ÖsterreichUngarns und des Orients 9(3–4) (1895): 97–203 (1–107), pls 15–25 (1–11); 11 (1) (1897): 1–46 (108–153), pls 1–8 (12–19); 11(3) (1898): 89–152 (154–217), pls 14–19 (20–25).

    Article title in non–Latin alphabet

    ATABEKIAN, A.A. & KHAKIMOV, F.C. 1976. [Campanian and Maastrichtian ammonites from Central Asia]. Akademia Nauk Tadchikskoi SSR Institut Geologii 1976: 1–146, pls 1–13 [In Russian].

    Article in book

    BIRKELUND, T. 1981. 7. Ammonoid shell structure. In: HOUSE, M.R. & SENIOR, J.R. (eds) The Ammonoidea. Systematics Association Special Volume 18: 177–214.

    BOURY-ESNAULT, N. 2002. Family Polymastiidae Gray, 1867. In: HOOPER, J.N.A. & SOEST, R.W.M. VAN (eds) Systema Porifera. Guide to the Supraspecific Classification of Sponges and Spongiomorphs (Porifera), pp. 201–219. New York: Plenum.

    WRIGHT, C.W. 1957. In: MOORE, R.C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Part L, Mollusca 4, Cephalopoda Ammonoidea. xxii + 490 pp. New York: Geological Society of America & Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.


    COLLIGNON, M. 1971.Atlas des fossiles caractéristiques de Madagascar (Ammonites) XVII (Maestrichtien). iv + 44 pp., pls 640–658. Tanarive: Service Géologique.

    MORTON, S.G. 1834. Synopsis of the Organic Remains of the Cretaceous Group of the United States. Illustrated by nineteen plates, to which is added an appendix containing a tabular view of the Tertiary fossils discovered in America. Philadelphia: Key & Biddle.

    DAY, J.H. 1967a. A Monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa. 1. Errantia. 458 pp. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History).

    Conference proceedings

    MOLL E.J. 1994. The origin and distribution of fairy rings in Namibia. In: SEYANI, J.H. & CHIKUNI, A.C. (eds) Proceedings, 13th Plenary Meeting AETFAT, Zomba, Malawi, pp.1203–1209.Zomba:National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens of Malawi.


    WILLIAMS, G.C. 1988. Systematics and zoogeography of southern African octocoral cnidarians. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Cape Town.


Systematic papers must conform to the current editions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and International Code of Botanical Nomenclature unless there is good reason to do otherwise, in which case this should be justified. Names of new taxa, combinations, synonyms etc., when used for the first time, must be followed by the appropriate Latin abbreviation, e.g. gen. nov., sp. nov., comb. nov., etc. In discussions, the generic name must be given in full when first mentioning the species. Subsequently it may be abbreviated to the initial capital letter, unless confusion with another genus is likely. At the beginning of a paragraph, the genus name must be written out in full. Synonomies should preferably be arranged according to chronology of bibliographic references, for example:

Pseudocalycoceras dentonense (Moreman, 1942), Figs 101–121
1927 Acanthoceras sp. A; Moreman, p. 95, pl. 15, fig. 2.
1942 Eucalycoceras dentonense Moreman, p. 205, pl. 33, figs 4–5; text-fig. 2k.
1942 Eucalycoceras indianense Moreman, p. 206, pl. 33, figs 9–10; text–fig. 2l.
1959 Eucalycoceras dentonense Moreman; Matsumoto, p. 97, textfig. 51.
1969 Eucalycoceras (Proeucalycoceras) dentonense Moreman; Thomel, p. 650.
1972 Psudocalycoceras dentonense (Moreman); Cobban & Scott, p. 63, pl. 13, figs 11–29; pl. 15, figs 1–7; 10–13.
1975 Pseudocalycoceras sp. aff. P. dentonense (Moreman); Matsumoto & Kawano, p. 13, pl. 1, fig. 1; text–fig. 3.
1981 Pseudocalycoceras dentonense (Moreman); Wright & Kennedy p.37, pl.5, fig.4;pl.6, figs 3, 6, 7;text–figs 15A,B, E–H;19S,T.

In describing new species, the following headings should be included:

  1. Derivation of name.
  2. Type specimen (s), holotype, lectotype, paratypes and catalogue numbers.
  3. Material.
  4. Diagnosis.
  5. Description.
  6. Remarks or Discussion.
  7. Occurrence. Geographic and/or stratigraphic occurrence.

The systematic description should be preceded by a list of institutions where material is housed, accompanied by the institutional abbreviations, e.g. NHM, the Natural History Museum, London; NMB, National Museum, Bloemfontein.


A set of proofs, in PDF format, will be sent to the author or corresponding author if there is more than one. Corrections should be restricted to mistakes and printing errors, and not to rewriting text. The authors may be charged for extensive revisions made on the proofs. A PDF will be supplied free of charge to each author, and in the case of graphically intense articles also a CD containing very high resolution (printing press quality) and medium–resolution (= screen enhanced) PDFs. On acceptance of the manuscript, the author(s) do so on the understanding that copyright is assigned to the publisher.


Manuscripts submission

Submit manuscripts to the Editor, African Natural History, Natural History Collections Department, Iziko South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town 8000, South Africa. E-mail:


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Iziko South African Museum
P.O. Box 61, Cape Town, Western Cape Province, ZA, 8000,
Tel: +27 21 481 3849