Cultural flexibility was key for early humans to survive extreme dry periods in southern Africa

MEDIA RELEASE FROM WITS UNIVERSITY DATE: 26 July 2017 The flexibility and ability to adapt to changing climates by employing various cultural innovations allowed communities of early humans to survive through a prolonged period of pronounced aridification. The early human techno-tradition, known as Howiesons Poort (HP), associated with Homo sapiens who lived in southern Africa about 66 … Continued

Sterkfontein legacy featured in Popular Archeology

Jesse Holth has written a feature article published in Popular Archeology about the evolutionary legacy and importance of the Sterkfontein Caves. Click the link below to read the article in PDF format: Sterkfontein: A history of evolution in the cradle of humanity

Research Summary: Robert Muir

I am a Geology MSc. Student at the University of Cape Town with research interests in sedimentology, palaeontology and palaeoecology. My research is focussed on the Lower Cretaceous Kirkwood Formation, Uitenhage Group, found in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape of South Africa. In 2014 I completed my honours degree with a thesis that describes … Continued

An overview of Palaeoenvironments and Palaeoclimates

Ecosystems of the recent past, all the way back to the formation of the Earth itself, can be reconstructed by means of palaeoenvironmental proxies. Fossil flora, fauna, and trace fossils can tell us about climate and biodiversity, which can be incorporated with sedimentology, geochemistry and palaeomagnetism. Together, these data allow palaeoecologists to build a detailed … Continued

Karoo reveals mass extinction

The rocks of the Karoo have shed light on the timing, some 260 million years ago, when almost all of Earth’s species – land and sea – died in a mass extinction event. It also led to the disappearance of a diverse group of early mammal-like reptiles called dinocephalians, which were the largest land-living animals … Continued

Why South Africa’s Karoo is a palaeontological wonderland

The Karoo provides not only a historical record of biological change over a period of Earth’s history but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long periods of time. South Africa’s Karoo region has been in the headlines in recent years because of the prospect of a controversial fracking programme to exploit … Continued