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Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) News

The National Museum is proud to be hosting the 20th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) from 4-6 July 2018. It is the largest palaeontological meeting in southern Africa and attracts scientists from all around the globe. This year more than 80 scientists from seven countries will be presenting their latest, exciting research from 260 million year old insect-plant interactions and the transition from fish to amphibians, to early dinosaur and pre-mammalian palaeobiology, and the evolution of endurance running in the first humans.

The National Museum boasts three departments, namely Karoo Palaeontology, Florisbad Quaternary Research and Archaeology that are actively involved in South African palaeozoological and palaeobotanical research. Researchers in the Archaeological Department use fossil plants to reconstruct ancient palaeoenvironments. The Karoo Palaeontology Department houses more than 4000 vertebrate fossils ranging from 260-190 million years old and fully equipped fossil preparation and osteohistology laboratories. The Florisbad Quaternary Research Department manages the world-renowned Florisbad research site, from where the 260 000 year old archaic human skull of “Florisbad man” was discovered, and holds the largest modern mammal osteological collection in South Africa.

Many exciting fossil discoveries have been made and considerable new important research conducted since the PSSA was last held in Bloemfontein in 2002, making the National Museum the ideal venue for the 20th PSSA in 2018.

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