Fossils found in Golden Gate?

I found out just how deep the nerd vein runs in my family during our December break this year. We spent four days in the sleepy Freestate town of Clarens, renowned for its artists, cherry harvest and gorgeous mountain setting. On one morning we piled into the car and drove to Golden Gate National Park. It’s a lovely drive through the Drakensberg and the soaring peaks and incredible views are well worth it. We’ve visited Golden Gate many times before and have never seen anything like what we saw this year.

We were on our way to the vulture feeding project but missed the turn and ended up stopping at one of the many viewpoints in the park. We jumped out of the car to stretch our legs and take some photos, as the midday sun was starting to get the better of me I heard Mike call “I found a fossil!” That was it, the shared Butterworth-Meadon-Wagner nerd gene kicked into high gear and my mom, her partner, my fiancé, my son and I all spent more than an hour walking from one rocky outcrop to the next taking hundreds of photo’s and exclaiming in wonder; “I found another one over here!”

Now, I’m not a palaeontologist, none of us are, so we’re not even a little bit sure about what these are, but they sure do look like the rocky remains of long dead creatures. Here, now, are the best of the photo’s which we took, for you to peruse and ponder. If you are a palaeontologist and you do know how to identify fossils, please let me know if we got it right or miserably wrong. Additionally, if this is the only known remains of a previously undiscovered species, I’ll be happy to lend my name :-)

The First Fossil?

Profile of first fossil

Detail of fossil 2

The third fossil

Another fossil?

Fossil 5

Mike and Owen looking for fossils

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4 responses to “Fossils found in Golden Gate?

  1. Pingback: Fun with fossils·

  2. Good post monkey…. But you’re lending your name only as long as it’s not your maiden name! :-)

  3. The Eastern Free State is well known for it’s fossil deposits and many well documented fossil discoveries were made in the area. The Karroo is also particularly rich in fossils. Glad you found these and had such fun. Hope it sparks an interest.

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