• Short Summary

    A scientific expedition jointly sponsored by Australia and the United States has found evidence of pre-historic life in the remote outback of South Australia.

  • Description

    A scientific expedition jointly sponsored by Australia and the United States has found evidence of pre-historic life in the remote outback of South Australia.

    The expedition discovered tracks of the extinct diprotodont which roamed the area millions of years ago. Doctor Tedford, of the American Museum, who heads the expedition, says that the dry lake probably contains the most significant relics of the animal yet discovered.

    A fleet of four wheel drive vehicles combed Lake Callabonna for evidence of pre-historic life. In 1893, an aborigine stockman told his employers of the lake and the bones which could be see on the surface. The South Australia Museum in Adelaide, some 500 miles (800 kms) to the south, was informed and an expedition set out the same year. After 12 months of painstaking digging, the scientists returned to Adelaide with enough bones to reconstruct a skeleton of the diprotodont. It is still the only one in existence.

    Conditions at the excavation site couldn't be worse. During the summer months the temperature reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees centigrade) in the shade and there is virtually no rain. A match dropped to the ground ignites immediately. However, according to Doctor Tedford, conditions weren't always as severe. He says that more than 40,000 years ago the area was lush and green with a heavy rainfall. Then the giant diprotodont, weighing up to two tons, roamed the lake area eating the lush foliage of the trees.

    With the climatic change the diprotodont, giant kangaroos and wombats began dying off. the doctor believes that at one stage there were more than 100,000 prehistoric animals living near the lake, but over a period of thousands of years they became extinct.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9RAOJP0V61RDL58QCXNHZEJRH
    Media URN:
    VLVA9RAOJP0V61RDL58QCXNHZEJRH
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/11/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:59:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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