Anapsid and synapsid collections

The collections include material from 115 species of synapsid, and a large amount of Anapsida and Synapsida material from Africa.

Keen geologists William Guybon Atherstone and Thomas Geddes Bain pioneered palaeontological exploration in South Africa in the 1840s to 1860s. They sent large collections of Permian and Triassic reptiles from the Karroo of South Africa to the British Museum.

These collections, which were later moved to the Natural History Museum, include:

  • pareiasaurs such as:
    • Bradysaurus baini, a mounted skeleton is on display at the Museum in From the Beginning
    • procolophonids
  • a large number of synapsids (colloquially known as mammal-like reptiles)

Synapsid collection

The synapsid collection contains 115 species and 84 type specimens. These include:

  • a small number of:
    • pelycosaurs
    • dinocephalians
  • large numbers of specimens belonging to the carnivorous groups:
    • gorgonopsids
    • therocephalians
    • cynodonts including Cynognathus
  • large groups of herbivorous dicynodonts, such asĀ 
    • Kannemeyeria
    • Dicynodon
    • Lystrosaurus

There are large field collections of synapsid material, mostly unstudied, from the Middle Permian Ruhuhu Formation in Tanzania and the Lower to Middle Triassic Manda Formation in Zambia. The latter collection also includes archosaur material.

Using palaeontology collections