The Naracoorte Caves are located along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier in South Australia. The Wonambi Fossil Centre writes:

Palaeontologists have been studying the fossils and bones found in the caves for over 30 years. From them they have been able to determine the range of species that made up Naracoorte’s ancient animal communities. Around 120 species of vertebrate animals have been recorded to date. They represent four of the major vertebrate groups: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The interpretive centre also shows you how the caves have acted as pitfall traps, dens and roosts for more than 500,000 years, leading to a vast accumulation of skeletal remains of reptiles, birds and mammals.

Photos: John White, 2011, Naracoorte Caves. Via John White Photos on Flickr.


Frozen In Time: Breathtaking discovery found in Mongolia of Protoceratops andrewsi nest full with young.
→ By Anne Casselman on National Geographic News

A nest full of fossilized dinosaur babies has been discovered in Mongolia, and the find has paleontologists reexamining styles of parental care among the ancient reptiles.

The approximately 75-million-year-old nest shows 15 juvenile members ofProtoceratops andrewsi — a relative of Triceratops — entombed in ancient sand dune deposits. The nest was recently discovered by Mongolian paleontologist Pagmin Narmandakh in the region’s Djadokhta formation.

The 2.3-foot-wide (0.7-meter-wide) nest is breathtaking, according to David Fastovsky, a co-author on a paper about the dinosaur nest published in the November edition of the Journal of Paleontology.

Unlike other dinosaur nests found with fossil eggs, the babies in this nest appear to have been about a year old when they died.

“We think there’s good evidence for some sort of parental care, because these animals are growing together at the nest,” said Fastovsky, a paleontologist at the University of Rhode Island. “They did not come fresh out of eggs two minutes ago.”

Get Excited Fellow Dino-Geeks: There’s a New Species of Dinosaur in Palaeontology Town

The Huffington Post recently reported on a new species of dinosaur, the Spinops sternbergorum. It may be the evolutionary link between two other species, the Centrosaurus (the group which includes the triceratops) and the Styracosaurus (another horned herbivore - that is, a plant eater).

The new species (below) is believed to have lived 74-76 million years a go, and it is likely to have been an herbivore that lived in herds. Its bones were first found in Canada in 1916, but the findings were promptly dismissed and have been sitting on museum shelves ever since. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has revisited the evidence and re-categorised the bones as a new species. The findings are published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.