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Macropodid skeletons, including: Simosthenurus Tedford, from an unusual 'drowned cave' deposit in the south east of South Australia

, : Macropodid skeletons, including: Simosthenurus Tedford, from an unusual 'drowned cave' deposit in the south east of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide): 186: 131-141

A drowned cave in the southeast of South Australia yielded exceptionally well-preserved vertebrate fossils, particularly of the Pleistocene macropodid, Simosthenurus Tedford, to scuba divers. Three distinct groups of Simosthenurus were recognized, including S. gilli (Merrilees). One (Species II) may be referable to S. orientalis (Tedford), while the 3rd is a new species. Postcranial remains associated with some skulls offer, at last, definite knowledge about the anatomy of these extinct kangaroos. The geometry of the cave is described briefly and supports an hypothesis about the accumulation of some of the bones. Probably, in drought periods during the latter stages of the last Glacial phase, when caves were the only local source of free water, animals entered this cave to drink and some, weakened or over-extended, fell into the underground pool and could not get out. Their carcasses sank to the bottom to leave near-complete skeletons that were protected by the post-Glacial rising groundwater.


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