1804 SEARCHING FOR THE EARLIEST TETRAPODS IN GONDWANA
Professor Roger Smith, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand and Iziko South African Museum
What the earliest terrestrial vertebrates in Gondwana were is one of the important unresolved questions about the evolution of life on land. To find the answer, a multinational team of palaeontologists spent several field seasons looking for 300 million year old fossil bones in the hyper-arid Huab river valley of western Namibia and in the steaming jungles of north-east Brazil. This two-lecture course will illustrate how fieldwork was conducted in these two very different locations and showcase progress on the identification of the new finds. It will also discuss the evolutionary significance of these previously unknown animal communities.
1. Recent discoveries of new Early Permian tetrapod fossils in Namibia
2. The significance of a new Early Permian faunal assemblage in Brazil