12,000-year-old swamp brimming with bones reveals the ecosystem of the dodo

phys.org | 9/11/2019 | Staff
emilia (Posted by) Level 3
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An 1832 description of a swamp said that that it was so full of extinct animal bones that you only had to stick your hand in the water to retrieve them. Inspired by this a group of international researchers, including the Natural History Museum's Dr. Julian Hume, went in search of it.

Remarkably the team succeeded and in 2015 the swamp was re-discovered near Mare la Chaux in Mauritius. Now, a collaboration between the National Heritage Foundation and landowner Constance la Gaieté Co Ltd. has been set up resulting in the first excavation at the site.

Area - Reputation - Bones - Animals - Team

The area has already lived up to its reputation and yielded many bones belonging to extinct Mauritian animals. Incredibly the team have found a huge diversity of species represented in the fossil record and bones at a density of around 600 per cubic metre, much higher than the other known fossil localities on Mauritius.

Dr. Hume says, "This is one of the most exciting fossil excavations I have worked on. We are literally peeling back the history of Mauritius layer by layer. The sheer volume of remains, including extinct giant tortoises, giant skinks and Dodos, a culturally significant bird to Mauritius and global icon of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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