Monday, April 10, 2006

Trip to Streckfontein

20- 24 MARCH 2006
Weekly report no 7

I was prepared to go to strekfontein, but the trip was not planned and cancelled well I manage to over come that, I focused to my study were I was searching information for my power point presentation assignment on human evolution, for this presentation I choose a topic on if living homo floresiensis were to be found would they go to a school or a zoo.

What I have learned during the course of the week is about using the document manage system (DMS) which helps our supervisors to access our work on their system. This method helps; as it reduces the work for my supervisor not to wait for me to send email about my work they accessed it immediately I finish working on a document. Good innovation of DMS, for people at work.

Trip to strekfontein

We took the trip on Thursday to strekfontein caves where I was learning about the evolution of human ancestor in South Africa

The site called the Cradle of Human kind it is situated in northwest Johannesburg; South Africa. The site has been nominated by the Gauteng’s provincial government as one of the world’s heritage list and also nominated by UNESCO in 1999. The site covers 47 000 hectares of land and comprises a strip of a dozen dolomite limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of plants, animals and hominids.

The Strekfontein caves are located within the Isaac Edwin Stegmann Reserve about 10 km from Krugersdorp. These caves were donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family.

The dolomite from which the cave is formed started out as coral reefs growing in a warm shallow sea about 2,3 billion years ago, as the reefs died out they were transformed into limestone where after some time was later converted into dolomite.

A section of the cave is open to the public and there is a gravel platform from which the public can view the excavation site. There is a tea room and a small museum in which information about significant findings are on display.

During our visit at strekfontein we were having a tour guide (Mr. Rufus Mokwena) who was guiding us about the cave and the thing that we have to consider when we are in the cave, one of the important measure when we are in the cave is to be close to each other to avoid missing .

At the entrance to the cave there is species fossils replica displayed, we observed the displayed stone and on each it was written different types of species such as:

Lystro sourus which was the mammal-like reptile, it was believed to be 245 millionon years old, it was believed a vegetarian.
Massospondylus which was South African dinosaur and it was an ancestor of Ostrich it was believed to be 200 million years old, it was found aMapungubwewe.
Mrs Ples, Australopithecus Africanus from strekfontein it was believed 2.6 million years old.
Foot of Australopithecus , from strekfontein believed 33 million years old

Underground cave

The cave is modified to meet the human needs, mostly at the entrance even inside, they place a video stand which explain all the findings (Presentation about little foot) and the scientist who discover the fossil at strekfontein Mr. Ron Clark, they also place lights to provide visibility of the structure of the cave.

They also construct steps to provide better movement in the cave, is a beautiful place to be as it have natural features even a lake inside, this cave is a good tourist guide as it have lots of amazing lovely natural design (shape) of limestone.

On our way out from the cave it was design to attract tourist as they place a statue of Dr Robert Broom caring the fossil skull of Mrs Ples.

It was well prepared trip as it helps us to know lots about human evolution and this was good planned trip as we were busy with the course that include human evolution.

Hominid exhibition hall

This exhibition hall consisted with the replica of the hominids fossils that were found long time ago and on each fossil was written the information about it, different pictures of earliest hominids, modern human, chimpanzees and gorillas were exhibited.

In general I have learnt to work as a team and also to put trust on other people as they can be responsible for me. This visit to strekfontein also helps me to enhance my knowledge towards human evolution in South Africa.


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