Federation of Southern African Gem & Mineralogical Societies

In the middle sixties, some very farsighted individuals realized the need and the benefit which could be derived from uniting all the Gem and Mineral Clubs / Societies in South Africa at the time, into a Federation. This Federation, when founded would elect office bearers and appoint various committees who would be entrusted with the task of carrying out the wishes of the collective Clubs and Societies affiliated to the Federation.

This Federation was then duly formed in Kimberly on the 3rd September 1966. The aims and objects of FOSAGAMS are to assist in the formation of Earth Science Clubs and Societies and, to promote the hobby of lapidary art and mineral collecting and all its associated fields.

The Executive Committee of the Federation consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. Annual General Meetings are held every year over the Easter weekend, during the annual GEMBOREE.


Signatures of Earth’s Biological Past


1.    Introduction


In the rock record, the remains of the body parts of animals such as bones, teeth, exo-skeletons and shells are preserved as fossils (Figure 1). However, there is also indirect evidence of biological activity in the rock record as footprints, burrows, tracks, borings, gizzard stones and feces left behind by animals, rather than the animal itself. These signatures from the past are known as trace fossils (ichnofossils) and is evidence of the original biology and sedimentary environment in which these were made.