New fossil evidence reveals more about how African bush elephants’ ancient ancestors moved about a South African landscape.
There are no body fossils of elephants from this time period, so the available information of how these gigantic animals moved through the ancient landscapes depends entirely on the track record.
The larger of the two triangular geometric features (scale bar = 10 cm.)
It appears that the South African Cape south coast's dunes and beaches formed a vast canvas of sand on which our ancestors could leave their mark.
South Africa’s Constitutional Court is considered the bedrock of the country’s democratic order. Here it is in session in 2019.
Photo by Alon Skuy/Sowetan/Gallo Images via Getty Images
The growing defence of South Africa’s beleaguered constitutional democracy is bolstered by African thinker Mahmood Mamdani’s latest book.
Graffiti obscures beautiful curved invertebrate traces on a rock surface in South Africa.
These surfaces are of profound scientific, cultural, heritage, environmental, and aesthetic importance. Unfortunately, they are threatened - by graffiti.
A statue of the author, Solomon T. Plaatje, in Kimberley, South Africa.
According to a new book, the friendships among women in the novel reveal its author Sol T. Plaatje’s view of effective political struggle.
A hominin track in Garden Route National Park, lightly outlined in chalk. The track is 24 centimetres long.
These ancient surfaces, which often preserve the tracks in remarkable detail, are now amenable to inspection and interpretation.
These fossil trackways resemble the tracks left by flamingos today, but are bigger. Just above the scale bar one can see (more faintly) the ‘tramline traces’ made by the ancient birds’ stomping action.
One avian track, probably made by a large gull or a small goose, was found in sediments that have been dated to about 400,000 years. That makes it the oldest avian track reported from southern Africa.
Citizens rallied to stem the oil tide.
Courtesy of Daphney Dupre
Mauritius’ oil spill highlights the plight of impoverished communities that live along the coastline.
Even with free data and unlimited educational material, online self-guided learning has a number of challenges.
Due to restricted resources and infrastructure, few schools have been able to adopt online learning as a result of the lockdown.
Des manchots royaux en mer.
Une équipe de chercheurs a découvert que les manchots émettent des sons sous l’eau. Voici les détails de cette fascinante découverte.
Reptile, avian and mammal tracks and Middle Stone Age artefacts on a large track bearing surface which has since been buried by a landslide.
Images modified from Helm, et al. 2020. South African Journal of Science, 116
While crocodylian fossil swim traces have been described from other continents, to the best of our knowledge the examples we describe are the first such reptilian swim traces from Africa.
King Penguins at sea.
This study provides the first evidence that penguins emit sounds underwater when they hunt.
The Nxaxo Estuary in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
Dr Jacqueline Raw
Scientists are building up a picture of how much carbon can be taken out of the atmosphere and stored in coastal ecosystems.
La révolution industrielle a spécialisé les agriculteurs, coupant court aux échanges indispensables pour entretenir la biodiversité des espèces cultivables.
The white liberal establishment, both inside and outside the Democratic Alliance, holds on to its race-blindness by distorting the South African idea of “non-racialism”.
Many South Africans hold onto the hope that a win in the World Cup translates into another defining moment for the country.
Wetlands are an important resource that needs to be taken better care of.
Dugongs are rare and elusive.
While the other members of the Sirenia are found in the Atlantic, the dugong is the only sea cow found in the Indian Ocean and south-western Pacific. This highlights its deep African connections.
A rock surface containing a circular pattern with a central depression. The scale bar = 10 cm.
Images modified from: Helm, C.W.; Cawthra, H.C.; De Vynck, J.C.; Helm, C.J.; Rust, R.; Stear. W. Patterns in the Sand: A Pleistocene hominin signature along the South African coastline? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association (2019)
Given that we know humans moved across these landscapes, we wondered whether there might also be evidence of other forms of human activity on these surfaces of sand.
An oiled penguin in the aftermath of a spill in the waters of Algoa Bay.
Oil spills from a project that’s designed to harness the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans are threatening the world’s largest remaining African Penguin colony.