Donald’s Fearfully Great Lizard

My mate Donald Coleman found, excavated and re-assembled a complete fossil back in about 1962. I can see it now, at the back doorstep of their house at the foot of Platberg: About 500mm long I’d guess, every little bone in place. A stout, lizard-gecko-looking creature. He found it thanks to the excavations for the new N3 bypass around the town which went right near the mountain end of Hector Street, which was where the Colemans lived.
Wonder what happened to it?

To me (searching in hindsight) it looked like Lystrosaurus or Thrinaxodon (common in the Karoo 235 million years ago and has been found in Harrismith) or Cisticephalus.

It looked something like this, but completely whole, not embedded in rock:

lystrosaurus-fossil

Dinosaur: “fearfully-great lizard” – as used by Homer in THE ILIAD (written around 760–710 BC). I looked it up: While everything said about Homer is subject to debate, the popular opinion is that he was a blind bard who composed and recited The Iliad and The Odyssey a few hundred years after the events described.

Tragically, Donald died around 1972 in a car accident, or he would have told us exactly what his fossil was and where it is. His lil boet Eddie thought he may have buried his fossil on their farm outside Bergville – just to confuse future paleontologists, but older sis Anne says no, it was given to a museum – she thinks in Bergville. I want to find it and have it assessed.

If it’s a new species I’ll ask them to call it Harrysaurus donaldii

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids and travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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