SET IN STONE

In Flight Magazine - - SET IN STONE - { TEXT: AVIWE MATIWANE: PHD STU­DENT, BOTANY, RHODES UNIVER­SITY & ROSE­MARY PREVEC: PALAEONTOLOGIST, RHODES UNIVER­SITY / WWW.THE­CON­VER­SA­TION.COM | IM­AGES © IS­TOCK­PHOTO.COM }

THERE’S A PAR­TIC­U­LAR FEEL­ING OF EX­CITE­MENT THAT COMES FROM RE­CEIV­ING A GIFT. IT’S A FEEL­ING OF THE UN­KNOWN AND OF AN­TIC­I­PA­TION – AND THEN YOU UN­WRAP THE PACK­AGE AND FIND SOME­THING (HOPE­FULLY) SPEC­TAC­U­LAR. AS PALAEONTOLOGISTS, ROCKS ARE OUR IDEA OF A GREAT GIFT. THAT’S BE­CAUSE WHEN YOU CRACK THEM OPEN, YOU MIGHT WELL FIND A FOS­SIL. AND WE AREN’T TALK­ING ABOUT DI­NOSAURS – OUR AREA OF SPE­CIAL­I­SA­TION IS PALAEOBOTANY. THIS IN­VOLVES HUNT­ING FOR PLANT FOS­SILS WHICH CAN TELL US A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE LAND­SCAPES OF PAST AGES.

Glos­sopterids. of Africa, par­tic­u­larly in Namibia, Zim­babwe, Mozam­bique and fur­ther north into Zam­bia,Tan­za­nia, Kenya, and even Mada­gas­car.

Some may won­der why fos­sils mat­ter. Plants never get as much at­ten­tion as South Africa’s fa­mous rich and di­verse fos­sil her­itage, rang­ing from some of the ear­li­est ev­i­dence of life through to

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.