Around 444 million years ago, the Earth was recovering from a widespread glaciation that is directly linked to the second biggest extinction event in the history of the planet. In South Africa, the rocks and fossils that now form part of the mountains of the Cedarberg provide an exceptional record of this geological time. The Cedarberg fossils are internationally renowned for their exceptional preservation (we’re talking fossil eyes, livers and muscle fibres!) but no one knows why they are so well preserved. We also don’t know very much about the climatic factors that lead to many of these animals dying off. After looking at the rocks surrounding the fossils in great detail we found what appeared to be wind-blown sand grains entwined with lots of fossil algae, and wondered if the two observations could be related. Could these sand grains be contributing to algal blooms? If so, what implications might this have for understanding how the fossils were preserved? Can this ancient mass extinction and associated climatic shifts help us better understand what’s happening today? Come to the lecture and find out!
- Date: Wednesday 27 June 2018 18h00
- Speaker: Ms Claire Browning, Curator of Karoo Palaeontology, Research & Exhibitions Iziko SA Museum
- Venue: Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
- Cost: Members on presentation of valid 2018 membership card–free of charge Non-members: A donation of R30.00