Karoo Palaeontology


  • Late Carbonifereous fossils: palaeoniscud and acanthodian fishes from the Witteberg Group.
  • Permian to early Jurassic fossils: from the main Karoo Basin, mainly synapsids including large collections of Dinocephalia, Dicynodontia, Gorgonopsia, Therocephalia and Cynodontia with a few important pelycosaurs and biarmosuchians. Also large collections of true reptiles especially captorhinids, archosauromorphs and dinosaurs. 

The types of the basal archosauromorph Euparkeria and the primitive ornithiscian dinosaur Heterodontosaurus as well the type of its newly described sister taxon Eocursor parvus.

Recent acquisitions include a 'nest' of Youngina, and complete articulated skeletons of Pristerognathus, Diictodon, Pareiasaurus serridens, Rhachiocephalus, Odontocyclops, Lystrosaurus, Aelurognathus, Cyonosaurus,and the type of the earliest cynodont Charassognathus gracilus.

  • Amphibians and fishes from Beaufort and Stormberg groups make up the rest of the vertebrate collection
  • Permian to early Jurassic trace fossils: mainly arthropod trackways from the Lower Ecca varved shales (Early Permian) and vertebrate trackways,  burrows and coprolites from the Beaufort Group.
  • Triassic plant fossils:  Alfred “Gogga” Brown’s fossil pant collection from Mid Triassic  Molteno Formation.
  • Cretaceous and Paleocene vertebrate fossils: from crater-lake deposits in South Africa comprising numerous frog, fish and some dinosaur fossils