Beaufort Group
Beaufort Group

Beaufort Group mudstones and sandstones form the foothills of the Drakensberg Escarpment. The red, green and purple coloured mudstones which characterise this group were deposited in a steadily drying swampland.


The rocks were deposited by large, northward-flowing, meandering rivers in which sand accumulated. These were flanked by extensive floodplains where periodic floods deposited mud.


These 250 million year old rocks record the largest known extinction event in which approximately 95% of known species died out.



 Lystrosaurus skull

Lystrosaurus skull, KwaZulu-Natal


In Gondwana, the pig-sized mammal-like reptile Lystrosaurus was one of the few survivors. It sheltered in burrows and is a common fossil in rocks from Antarctica, India and southern Africa.


The discovery of Lystrosaurus in rocks in Antarctica in the early 1970s provided another important piece of evidence linking the southern continents and the idea of moving continents.



 Distribution of Lystrosaurus and Glossoperis fossils

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