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Fossil Picture Gallery

A selection of fossils from the Collections of the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research

Here are pictures of some of the fossils in our collections. The BPI s collections cover the full spectrum of South African palaeontology, but fossil plants and vertebrates from the Karoo Sequence (mid-Permian to Early Jurassic) make up the bulk of our holdings. The specimens shown here are just a very small selection.

Right forelimb and foot of a gorgonopsian therapsid (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group, Late Permian)

Palaeoniscoid fish, Semionotus capensis, from the Clarens Formation (Karoo Sequence: Stormberg Group - Early Jurassic)

Microscopic thin section of dinosaur bone to show histology (Coelophysis [formerly Syntarsus]- Early Jurassic)

Block of siltstone from the Lystrosaurus Zone (Mid-Triassic), showing several temnospondyl amphibians (Lydekkerina) surrounding the skull of a dicynodont, Lystrosaurus. Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Lystrosaurus Zone)

Skull of a large specimen of the semi-aquatic dicynodont (plant-eating Mammal-like Reptile ), Lystrosaurus (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Lystrosaurus Zone; Mid Triassic)

Almost complete skeleton of small cynodont therapsid, Thrinaxodon (Lystrosaurus Zone; Mid Triassic)

Skeleton of small burrowing dicynodont therapsid ( mammal-like reptile ), Cistecephalus (Cistecephalus Zone - Late Permian)

Skull of a gorgonopsian Mammal-like Reptile , Arctognathus, (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Cistecephalus Zone - Late Permian)

Skull of a temnospondyl ( labyrinthodont ) amphibian, Rhinesuchus (Karoo Sequence, Beaufort Group, Dicynodon Zone; Late Permian)

Fossil pollen grain from a Gymnosperm ( coniferous ) plant, Striatobietites (Late Permian) [Highly magnified; size: 40x20 microns]

Fossilised fern spore, Dictyophyllidites, Early Tertiary of southern Africa [Highly magnified; size: 30 microns from base to apex]

Fossil pollen grain from an Angiosperm plant ( flowering plant ), Early Tertiary, southern Africa [Highly magnified; size: 25x15 microns]

Fossil pollen grain of Compositae (daisy family), Early Tertiary, southern Africa [Highly magnified; size: 15x10 microns]

Leaf of the Gondwanan seed-fern, Glossopteris (Late Permian)

Microscopic thin-section of Miocene fossil wood (Legumenoxylon) from Namibia

Silicified stem of Rhexoxylon ( fossil wood ), Molteno Formation (Mid-Late Triassic)

Part of frond of a seed-fern , Dicroidium (possibly the leaves of Rhexoxylon). Molteno Formation (Mid-Late Triassic)

Impression of frond of fern, Asterotheca, associated with the Glossopteris Flora (Late Permian)

Skull of gorgonopsian therapsid, ( mammal-like reptile ), Aelurognathus (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Cistecephalus Zone, Late Permian)

Skull of the gorgonopsian therapsid ( mammal-like reptile ): Arctognathus curvimola. (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Cistecephalus Zone - Late Permian)

Skull of the late-surviving dicynodont therapsid ( mammal-like reptile ), Kannemeyeria (Cynognathus Zone; Early Triassic)

Skull of the cynodont therapsid ( mammal-like reptile ): Diademodon mastacus, juvenile. (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group; Cynognathus Zone - Late Triassic)

Top view of skull of advanced plant-eating cynodont therapsid, Diademodon (Cynognathus Zone, Early Triassic)

Snout of the theropod dinosaur, Syntarsus (Karoo Sequence: Stormberg Group, Middle Elliot Formation - Early Jurassic)

Skull of the carnivorous thecodontian, Erythrosuchus africanus, from the Cynognathus Zone (Karoo Sequence: Beaufort Group - Late Triassic)

Skull of juvenile prosauropod dinosaur, Massospondylus (Middle Elliot Formation - Early Jurassic)

Skull of adult prosauropod dinosaur, Massospondylus (Karoo Sequence: Stormberg Group; Middle Elliot Formation - Early Jurassic)

Incomplete skull of sabre-toothed cat , Homotherium, from Makapansgat Cave (Plio-Pleistocene)

Skull of extinct hyaena from Makapansgat Cave (Plio-Pleistocene)

Skulls of extinct giant hyrax ( dassie ), Gigantohyrax, from Makapansgat Cave (Plio-Pleistocene) flanking skull (top) of a member of the species which still occurs in the area today (Procavia)

Palate of the therocephalian therapsid, Moschorhinus (Karoo Sequence, Beaufort Group, Cistecephalus Zone: Late Permian)

Skull of adult and juvenile pareiasaurian stem-reptiles , Pareiasaurus (Cistecephalus Zone, Late Permian)

Skull of the therocephalian therapsid, Theriognathus (Whaitsia) (Karoo Sequence, Beaufort Group, Cistecephalus Zone: Late Permian)