Of Mice, Men and Frogs
Thalassa Matthews
Tue, 12/03/2019 - 18:30
SA Astronomical Observatory auditorium
Western Cape
Small mammals such as mice, shrews and rats are effective palaeoenvironmental indicators of past climates because they have small home ranges, do not migrate, and, in some cases, have specific habitat requirements. In recent years, I have focused on palaeontological and archaeological sites on the west and south coasts of South Africa. Fossil frogs are very useful indicators of past climates because they are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall. One extinct southern African species appears to have ‘done it better’ by jumping higher than any living frog! I will present results of a long-term study of micromammals from Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay, well known for a number of discoveries relating to the emergence of ‘modern’ human behaviour.