Visitors to the Golden Gate Park may have noticed work going on to the side of the old camping and caravan area. These earthworks are not looking for any fresh dinosaur fossils, they are building a Dinosaur Center to showcase what has already been found in the million year old inland ocean which solidified into what has become known as the Clarens layer of rock, just above the Molteno layer.
If you explore the area (go on a hike in the Park) you might find your own piece of history in among the sandstones and crystals that lie everywhere in the area. Imagine just a few million years ago, when this was a giant Dinosaur Park filling the entire Brandwater Basin.
The development of a Dinosaur Center is long overdue, and we are all extremely happy with the way in which it is being made to blend into the beautiful surroundings of the park.
OLDEST DINOSAUR EMBRYO
The oldest known dinosaur nests have been found at the same South African park where scientists previously unearthed the oldest known dinosaur embryo (pictured), a new study says.
Paleontologists recently found ten nests—each containing several tightly clustered eggs—in a nearly vertical cliff in Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Both the nests and the previously discovered embryo date back 190 million years.
The new find shows that the region was an early Jurassic nesting site used by a plant-eater called Massospondylus carinatus. The site predates other known dino nesting grounds around the world by more than a hundred million years, scientists reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
After the ancient fossil embryo was described in 2005 (pictures), “we decided to go back to the original site and see if we [could] find embryos and nests in place in the rock wall,” said study co-author Robert Reisz, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Toronto in Mississauga.
“After a lot of searching and walking on hands and knees and crawling … we found a total of ten nests altogether in locality, which is amazing.”
Mashabane Rose Associates
“THIS PROJECT HAS FASCINATED US SINCE WE FIRST WON THE COMPETITION. IT IS LIKELY TO START ON SITE IN 2015. THE PROJECT WAS INITIATED BY SANPARKS AND IS DESIGNED TO HAVE A MINIMAL IMPACT ON THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE OF GOLDEN GATE. IT WILL BE BUILT ON THE ONLY DISTURBED GROUND IN THE VALLEY NEXT TO THE CAMPSITES AND WILL BE A VISITOR CENTRE THAT TELLS THE STORY OF THE DINOSAUR EGGS DISCOVERED RECENTLY WHEN THE ROAD WAS CUT THROUGH THE VALLEY. THESE ARE THE OLDEST KNOWN DINOSAUR NESTS IN THE WORLD, FOUND AT THE SAME PARK WHERE SCIENTISTS PREVIOUSLY UNEARTHED THE OLDEST KNOWN DINOSAUR EMBRYO. THE AREA IS FILLED WITH FOSSILS OF LARGE DINOSAURS IN THE SANDSTONE ROCK AND IS LIKELY TO BECOME A BUSY HOLIDAY STOP IN THE GOLDEN GATE PARK.
THE DESIGN DRAWS ON THE IDEA THAT THE DRAKENSBERG WAS A DUNE-SCAPE WHICH WENT THROUGH THREE EXTINCTION EVENTS THAT SLOWLY SOLIDIFIED THE MOUNTAINS INTO SANDSTONE CLIFFS WHICH ARE SO BEAUTIFULLY FORMED TODAY. CENTRAL TO THE DESIGN IS THE WAY IN WHICH THE BUILDING IS CAMOUFLAGED BY BEING GRASSED OVER SO THAT HIKERS IN THE AREA DON’T HAVE TO LOOK DOWN ON ROOFING OR AIR-CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT. THE GENTLE OUTLINE OF THE LANDSCAPED ROOF WHICH CURVES AROUND A CENTRAL SPACE LOOKING UP AT THE CLIFF FACE WILL BE A DRAMATIC MOMENT. THE CARS AND BUSES ARE PLANNED TO PARK UNDER THE TREES THAT EXIST TO REDUCE THE VISUAL IMPACT OF THESE AREAS FOR THE HIKERS TOO. THE BUILDING IS A WALK- THROUGH EXHIBITION SPACE, WITH THE EXIT ADJACENT TO THE VISITOR TEA GARDEN AND GIFT SHOP. AREAS FOR RESEARCH, FOSSIL CLEANING AND STUDY ARE PLANNED AS AN EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT WORK BEING DONE BY WITS UNIVERSITY. THE SHAPING OF THE EXISTING LANDSCAPE TO FORM A BUILDING, WHICH IS MORE A MINIMALIST SURFACE RELIEF USING THE EXISTING LANDSCAPE, IS THE STRENGTH OF THIS CONCEPT.”