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Pink Panther Cave
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The sun may be off the hook for directly causing global warming, but a new study of cave formations in New Mexico indicates solar cycles may still have big local effects on rainfall in the American Southwest and Asia.
The discovery comes from the first solid record of climate in the Southwest, found in Pink Panther Cave in southern New Mexico’s Guadalupe Mountains. The record extends back some 12,300 years.
Chemical isotopes inside a stalagmite that grew there suggest that whenever the sun has been more active and slightly brighter, the summer monsoon rains have been weaker in the Southwest desert. The reverse also seems to apply to the Asian monsoons, which are stronger when the sun is more active.
The finding is particularly surprising in light of the fact that the variation in the sun's power output is considered too weak to account for the current trends in climate change and global warming.

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Lupercale
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It was known that a she wolf nursed Remus and Romulus, the twin brothers who founders Rome. Now, archaeologists claim to have unearthed Lupercale, the sacred cave where, according to legend, the she-wolf nursed the two and where the city itself was born.
The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall hill in the centre of the city.

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The three Thylacoleo caves
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The Victoria Fossil Cave fauna has been studied by, among others, Smith (1971,1972,1975,1976,1985), Van Tets and Smith (1974), Van Tets (1974,1985), Tyler (1977), Wells (1975,1978), Wells and Nichol (1977), Wells and Murray (1979), Wells, Horton and Rogers (1981) and Wells, Moriarty and Williams (1984). The remains of at least 93 vertebrate species have been identified, ranging in size from very tiny frogs to steer-sized marsupials. It is essentially a terrestrial fauna with one aquatic element, the freshwater turtle cf. Emydura macquarii. The Victoria Fossil Cave fauna typifies Australian Late Pleistocene terrestrial faunas in being comprised of a mixture of three categories of animals: 1, extinct species; 2, species that are extinct in the area but surviving elsewhere in Australia; and 3, species still living in the area. The majority of the larger animals represent extinct species while the majority of the smaller mammals and birds represent modern species (although not all are living in the area today) (Smith 1976).

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RE: Prehistoric caves
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An astonishing collection of fossil animals from southern Australia is reported by scientists.
The creatures were found in limestone caves under the Nullabor Plain and date from about 200,000-800,000 years ago.
The palaeontological "treasure trove" includes 23 kangaroo species, eight of which are entirely new to science.
Researchers tell Nature magazine that the caves also yielded a complete specimen of Thylacoleo carnifex, an extinct marsupial lion.

Source BBC

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176 prehistoric caves discovered in Thailand
Scientists have recently made significant cave discoveries in the Pang Mapha district of Mae Hong Son (Northern Thailand). A few of the caves will be opened to tourists but most will be preserved for research.
The discoveries are the result of nine years of exploration by a team of 50 geologists, archaeologists and other scientists. The work was supported by the Thailand Research Fund (TRF). Experts fear tourism will damage their fragile nature.

"Without proper management we could easily lose these treasures" - Dr Suchata Chinajit, TRF senior officer.

The uncovered caves are among 176 surveyed in Pang Mapha and will be entered into a national database ensuring access for research, management and tourism. The caves were discovered in a 1,200-square-km limestone area of Pang Mapha. It is one of two significant sites for caves in the country - the other being in Kanchanaburi, Suchata explained.
Silpakorn University archaeologist Dr Rasmi Shookongdej said finds from the caves and their surrounding areas were important. After three years the team still has much to study.

"The traces we found tell us how people in the area used caves in their age, which is more than 10,000 years ago. We found burial sites, skeletons and stone and iron tools" - Dr Rasmi Shookongdej.

The 176 caves have been divided into three categories - tourists can visit 15, 112 will be saved for research and 49 have yet to be classified.

"To prevent a flood of tourists into the area we are not revealing the location of this discovery just yet. We are in the process of ensuring the proper development of the area with the participation of local communities" - Dr Suchata Chinajit.

TRF director Piyawat Boonloeng said the fund intended to conduct similar studies in all Northern provinces, which should result in better tourism management in the long term.

Source: The Nation

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