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The Fossils from the Orapa Diamond Mine: A Review

R J RAYNER
Botswana Notes and Records
Vol. 25 (1993), pp. 1-17
Published by: Botswana Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40979977
Page Count: 17
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The Fossils from the Orapa Diamond Mine: A Review
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Abstract

Epiclastic sediments overlying the Orapa diamondiferous kimberlite in central Botswana have yielded a unique assemblage of fossils which includes flowering plants and wholebodied insects. The fossils are often exquisitely preserved. The kimberlite eruption, and the subsequent deposition of sediments have been reliably dated as middle Cretaceous (Coniacean-Cenomanian). Analysis of the sediments and fossils suggests that most of the sediments within the crater were deposited rapidly as mass flows. The climate of central Botswana was temperate, seasonal and wet, and the surrounding area was forested. The fossils have contributed considerably to our understanding of middle Cretaceous insects and plants, and suggest that southern Gondwana (including southern Africa) was a centre of diversification of both. Studies of the fossils have revealed fascinating insights into insect behaviour and evolution.

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