Sunday, July 13, 2008

giant marsupials

Moving south to visit Naracoorte caves where the largest collection of megafauna skeletons have been found. It is the only World Heritage site in South Australia.



For more than 500,000 years giant animals roamed the Naracoorte area. Falling into well hidden pitfall caves, their fossilised skeletons have been left behind, giving scientists a rare glimpse of animal life long extinct.

Giant marsupials such as the wombat-like Diprotodon, Thylacoleo the marsupial lion and a host of kangaroos lived in the area. Over 100 species have been identified from bones in the fossil cave, including over 30 of the extinct magafauna. The deposits in layers in the soil have helped give a time frame for the existence of these extinct species.

There is a museum where life sized robotic moving models of some of these huge marsupials are on display- I know it sounds corny but they really are exceptionally well done.What a cool job to have, creating robotic giant wombats from information gleaned from preserved skeletons.



The sun was shining for the first time in a few days, so probably not the best day to choose to spend underground but the caves were spectacular and well worth the detour.

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