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Searching for the earliest tetrapods in Godwana

When: Thursday, 12 October 2017 - Thursday, 12 October 2017
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Senate Room, 2nd Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House,
Start time:17:30

Professor Roger Smith from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits and the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town will present his inaugural lecture.

One of the important unresolved research questions relating to the evolution of life on land is: What were the earliest terrestrial vertebrates to inhabit Gondwana?

To answer this question, Smith and a multinational team of palaeontologists have 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.

The lecture will illustrate how fieldwork was conducted in these very different locations, report on current progress in preparing and identifying the new finds, and finish with a discussion of the evolutionary significance of these previously unknown animal communities.

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