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Recently I went to a property in NSW with hundreds of limestone caves after a member of our fossil club invited us on a trip there. I had never even considered going caving before, caves terrify me, but for fossils? Why not. The particular cave we went down was relatively easy, 11m straight down but there was a convenient tree limb above it. Not a fan of abseiling, but again, will do it for fossils. There are better caves in the area for fossils but didn't get around to going down them as we only had half a day, so maybe next time. Once at the bottom of the hole which was the opening, we went down into the actual cave. It was an amazing place; a lot of fantastic limestone formations in a small cavern with a number of other passages and holes we could go down. One of the places we found Pleistocene fossils was under the floor of the main cavern. A wide but shallow cavern was underneath that had bones cemented to the roof. Most had eroded out however. Another passage led down a couple of metres to a different fossil deposit which is where we collected from. A tight squeeze was needed to get through to the face of the deposit so its not a place for the claustrophobic. Heres a photo of that particular face, and some bones that had eroded out of it as well as modern animals that fall in much the same way as their Pleistocene predecessors. A layer of flowstone had formed over the face. The bones here were quite busted and fragmentary as many people had been in here before us and stood on them. I only collected teeth and jaws as they are much more interesting than fragmentary bones IMO. here are some of our finds: Macropus spp. . Vombatus sp. Lizard, perhaps a Tiliqua sp.? We also found a few other things which I will post after they're identified. Also, here is a paper with some more info on the area. And note that these were collected with permission. Thanks,
"Cradle of Humankind" fossils can now be dated Maddie Bender, Earth Magazine, February 5, 2019 https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/cradle-humankind-fossils-can-now-be-dated The paper is: Pickering, R., Herries, A.I., Woodhead, J.D., Hellstrom, J.C., Green, H.E., Paul, B., Ritzman, T., Strait, D.S., Schoville, B.J. and Hancox, P.J., 2019. U–Pb-dated flowstones restrict South African early hominin record to dry climate phases. Nature, 565(7738), p.226. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0711-0 A related paper is: Dirks, P.H., Berger, L.R., Roberts, E.M., Kramers, J.D., Hawks, J., Randolph-Quinney, P.S., Elliott, M., Musiba, C.M., Churchill, S.E., de Ruiter, D.J. and Schmid, P., 2015. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. Elife, 4, p.e09561. https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/09561/elife-09561-v1.pdf Yours, Paul H.
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsFossils reveal how bizarre mammal beat extinction Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, August 24, 2017 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170824182708.htm https://phys.org/news/2017-08-fossils-reveal-bizarre-mammal-extinction.html https://phys.org/news/2017-08-caribbean-mammal-extinctions-spurs-renewed.html Yours, Paul H.
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsMud DNA means we can detect ancient humans even without fossils, New Scientist, April 27, 2017 https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129259-mud-dna-means-we-can-detect-ancient-humans-even-without-fossils/ Photos: Looking for Extinct Humans in Ancient Cave Mud By Jeanna Bryner, Live Science, April 27, 2017 http://www.livescience.com/58872-neanderthal-dna-found-in-ancient-cave-mud.html http://www.livescience.com/58873-dna-from-extinct-humans-photos.html The paper is: Slon, V., C. Hopfe, C. L. Weiß, and many others, 2017, Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments Science 27 Apr 2017: eaam9695, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9695 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/04/26/science.aam9695 Yours, Paul H.