Where the wild things were
Hidden away in SA’s South East is a national, and global, treasure. The World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves house tens of thousands of beautifully preserved fossils, and paint a remarkably vivid picture of life during the last 500,000 years.
The rock stars of the collection are nearly 20 spectacular species of megafauna. These prehistoric giants include huge monitor lizards, towering kangaroos, and ‘King of the Pleistocene forests’ Thylacoleo carnifex—a fearsome marsupial lion.
But that’s just the start. Over 135 species of smaller vertebrates have also been identified. And numerous plant fossils, sediment deposits and calcite formations provide vital clues to the area’s environmental and biological history.
In this captivating presentation, a leading University of Adelaide researcher will explore these many wonders, and discuss how a new collaborative project to benchmark data from the area can inform future conservation and environmental initiatives.
Dr Elizabeth Reed is a Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Sciences, and a member of the University’s Environment Institute. She is also an Honorary Research Associate with the South Australian Museum, a member of the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology, and a former site interpreter at the Naracoorte Caves.