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