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Cycads – early land plants near Grahamstown:

(External Link)

Forests of primitive plants such as glossopteris near mooi river and estcourt

Distribution of Glossopteris in Pangaea

Near the end of the Palaeozoic Era, in the Permian period, Southern Africa had moved away from the South Pole. When the climate became warmer, the land becamecovered in new types of cone-bearing plants. The best known plant in the Southern hemisphere from that time is a tree called Glossopteris. Fossils ofGlossopteris tree trunks are common near Estcourt and Mooi River in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Plants like these formed the huge coal deposits that are mined in SouthAfrica today. The first true seed-bearing plants, which were simple conifers, appeared at the very end of the Permian Period.

Glossopteris and coal deposits:

(External Link)

Map of coal deposits in SA:

(External Link)

The coelacanth as a living fossil of the group that is ancestral to amphibians

The coelacanth is a “living fossil”; it is similar to 350 million year old fossils but is still alivetoday.http://www.flickr.com/photos/26573031@N05/2903081204/

The coelacanth is a lobe-finned fish from the Permian Period that was once thought to be extinct and was only known as a fossil. In 1938, a South Africanfishing boat netted a large fish with deep blue scales and fins on short “legs”. Professor J.L.B. Smith recognised it as a fossil fish fromrocks up to 350 million years old. It was thought to have been extinct for at least 65 million years. A second coelacanth was found in 1952 in the ComoresIslands. Many have been found since then. Another population has also been found near Sodwana Bay on the Kwazulu-Natal north coast.

See article at

(External Link)

Mammal-like reptiles in the karoo

Therapsid fossil in the Karoo (flickr)
Lystrosaurus (Wikipedia)

Reptiles diversified and spread as the most successful and largest land vertebrates in the Permian Period. One important group was reptiles with somemammal features that are called Therapsids. Thrinaxodon and Lystrosaurus were small therapsids that grew to about 50cm long. Fossils of these mammal-likereptiles have been found in the Karoo. These animals are seen as transitional between reptiles and mammals. They have several developmental advances such asextra ear bones and a bony palate, which are not normally found in reptiles.


Euskelosaurus browni

The special type of reptile called a dinosaur appeared and spread during the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. A South African example of a dinosaur isEuskelosaurus browni. It was one of the first dinosaurs discovered in Africa. It lived in the area now called the Eastern Cape and fossils have been foundnear Ladybrand.

One of the best places in the whole world to look for dinosaur fossils is the sedimentary rocks of the Drakensberg Mountains and Maluti Mountains of southernAfrica.

Fossils of ferns and cone-bearing plants have also been found in the same areas as the dinosaurs.

First mammals

Megazostrodon – first mammal during the Jurassic period. Mammals could not dominate during the reign of the dinosaurs, as the dinosaurs were huge.(Flickr) (External Link)

The first true mammals appeared during the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. They were small, about the size of a mouse and lived side by side with thedinosaurs. South Africa is the only place in the world where there are fossils that show changes from the earliest Therapsid (mammal-like) reptiles from theKaroo rocks of the Permian Period to the first true mammals from the Drakensberg rocks in the Eastern Cape and Lesotho.

Early mammal evolution: Interactive site

(External Link)


Discovery of early Hominids in SA:

(External Link)

The Hominids are the “human-like” organisms that diversified from the apes. The apes lived in tropical forests, while the hominids lived inwoodlands and savannah. About 4mya, several different species of Hominids with large brains appeared in Africa. These prehumans are in the genusAustralopithecus. The modern human Homo sapiens appeared in Africa about 200 000 years ago and spread all around the Earth. Many people believethat the eastern side of Africa and South Africa are the original home of humans. The Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein and Kromdraai has yielded someof the most exciting and oldest hominid fossils in the world.

Ron Clarke with Little Foot and Mrs Ples. Both were discovered at Sterkfontein.

Activity: map key events in life’s history in southern africa

The text on the following pages describes some of the key events in Life’s History for which there is evidence in Southern Africa.

  • When you read each description in the text that follows, identify the places where evidence has been found and mark them on the map.
  • For each place you have marked, [provide a brief description of the event that happened]

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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why and for what was five kingdom of classification of organisms introduced
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Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
Mpho Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula: life sciences grade 10. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11410/1.3
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