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On the rocky path to the Garden Route’s lost crocodiles


On the rocky path to the Garden Route’s lost crocodiles

Ancient footprints give a surprisingly detailed insight to what it was like there in pre-history

Cape Town bureau chief

If you go down to the Garden Route today, you won’t have to worry about crocodiles. But it wasn’t always so.

An ichnologist who has spent 13 years roaming the coastline between Arniston and Plettenberg Bay, in the process finding fossilised footprints of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and rhino, now claims to have discovered the first evidence of large reptiles.

Charles Helm, from the African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, also says he has uncovered what are probably Africa’s first recorded reptile “swim traces” on rocks that were once on the seabed...

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