Fossil Collection

A fascinating and educational exhibit detailing the wealth of fossils found in South Africa. Conceived and curated by the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits. The James Kitching Collection, previously housed in the former Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontology, highlights many of the important fossil discoveries made by the staff of the new Evolutionary Studies Institute. South Africa has a fossil record so remarkable and complete that it is not possible to write a text on the evolution of life on Earth without referring to it. Two of the world’s greatest palaeontological treasure houses are the South African Karoo (which covers a time period from 300 million years ago to 180 million years ago) and the hominin-bearing Cradle of Humankind. During Karoo times all the major groups of modern reptiles, including dinosaurs and mammals, evolved. The Fossil Collection is the only display in the world where you can see the most complete record of mammalian ancestry, the ancestors of humans, the ancestors of tortoises, and the ancestors of dinosaurs in one place. Also on display are an entire collection of fossils from a single site in the Cradle of Humankind and a reconstructed skeleton of Australopithecus sediba.

Fossil