Life may have started in Africa, but the study of African fossils is still undervalued

Paleontology, like much else in the cultural landscape, has a strong western influence and bias. Students are more likely than not to be given textbooks and external readings from Europe and North America no matter where they are in the world.

I often think about my own experiences as a paleontology student in France now that I’m lecturing the subject at a South African university. Back in those days, I knew more about North American and British fossils than about those from my own...

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