Fossils in caves topic of Speaker Series
The April 19 session of the 2018 Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology’s Speaker Series is a presentation by Dr. Chris Jass, Royal Alberta Museum, entitled, “Digging in the Dark.”
Caves of Western North America preserve important fossil deposits that provide insight into biological changes that occurred during the last ice age. Fossiliferous cave deposits often contain large numbers of specimens, and sometimes preserve rare or uncommon specimens (e.g., soft tissue, dung). They also provide an important perspective on life at higher elevations.
In Nevada, cave depos- its suggest the persistence of mammals in long-term unfavourable conditions in mountainous areas. In Alberta, research on cave deposits is revealing the timing of the return of mammalian life to the Rocky Mountains following the recession of glacial ice. In South Dakota, cave deposits reveal significant changes in the biogeographic distribution of mammals during later portions of the last ice age.
Dr. Chris Jass’ presentation will take you on a 20-year tour of ice age cave deposits in Western North America, and will discuss research projects associated with sites in Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, and Alberta. He will also examine some of the unique challenges encountered while conducting fieldwork in caves.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and open to the public. The series is held every Thursday until April 26 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Speaker Series talks are also available on the Museum’s YouTube channel: youtube. com/ c/ RoyalTyrrellMuseumofPalaeontology.