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LOCAL TIME: 05:14 am | Wednesday, 22 September
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Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre, Nieu-Bethesda

An interesting aspect to the Karoo is the fossils that have been found there. The area around Nieu-Bethesda in particular has yielded the most comprehensive evidence of the life on earth that pre-dated the emergence of mammals and dinosaurs.

Some of this is displayed in the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre, which also offers ‘fossil safaris’  to the Nieu-Bethesda fossil beds.

There have been five major extinctions in the history of planet Earth, which divide the various ‘periods’ of natural history.  A mass extinction that occurred at the end of the Permian period wiped 90% of life in the oceans and 70% of life on land, and the best known evidence of this cataclysm is found at the foot of the Lootsberg Pass in the Sneeuberg Mountains near Nieu-Bethesda.

The Kitching Fossil Centre exhibits display animal models and information on life on the supercontinent Pangea 253 million years ago – 50 million years before the emergence of dinosaurs and long before there were flowers, grasses, birds and mammals.

For more on the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre and fossil finding tours in the Nieu-Bethesda area.

Getting there: The Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre is situated in Nieu-Bethesda

More info on the town of Nieu-Bethesda More info on the Karoo Heartland area



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