Cave crystal fossil skull extinct lemur

Cave crystal fossil skull extinct lemur

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Skull of extinct lemur (Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion) with calcite surface crystalisation, discovered by the photographer in the Ankarana Caves of Northern Madagascar. Pictured on site in 1987, the skull has since been broken from the rock by museum staff. Its scientific value is compromised by the encrustation. Numerous more perfect specimens of this and several other giant extinct lemurs were retreived from these caves including Archaeolemur, Babakotia, Palaeopropithecus and Megaladapsis - making this one of the most important holocene fossil localities in Madagascar. It is thought some of the smaller lemurs may have entered the caves to drink and become lost in the boulder maze - fossa still hunt at the cave entrances today. Larger lemurs may have washed in.

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Keywords: ankarana, archaeolemur, calcite, cave, collection, crystal, extinct, fossil, giant, lemur, madagascar, mesopropithecus, museum, preservation, unusual

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