Roadworks near the South African town of Grahamstown have uncovered a large number of well-preserved fossils, some previously unknown to palaeontologists.

Located on an ancient river mouth ecosystem, the site hosts an incredible variety of fossils, dating back to the Devonian era.

Described as a “paleontological treasure trove in fossiliferous shale”‚ the site is said to contain new plant and invertebrate species which have never been documented or described in international palaeontology literature.


The fossils are said to differ from those found at the important Waterloo Farm excavations‚ which were revealed three years ago.

“The discovery differs from the fossil discoveries of the closed lagoon ecosystem of Waterloo Farm … It is significant as paleontological research and scholarship on marine ecosystems of the Devonian period was primarily anchored in the fossil discoveries of Waterloo Farm. Now, we are able to trace a much broader picture of life along an ancient coastline through the discovery of new plant and invertebrate species”, says Dr. Robert Gess of the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, a palaeontology heritage consultant to Sanral.


The site gives some insight into life 360-million years ago when South Africa was part of the supercontinent Gondwana‚ and what is now the Eastern Cape was situated at high latitude‚ within 15 º degrees of the South Pole.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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