Naracoorte Caves National Park


a national park in south-eastern SA, proclaimed in 2001 to protect the fossils of the Naracoorte Caves; with Riversleigh in Qld forms the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1994. 600 ha.
Fossil deposits in Naracoorte Caves National Park record the decline and disappearance of Australia's mammal megafauna from 500 000 to 50 000 years ago, a period spanning several ice ages and culminating with the arrival of humans on the continent. Extinct species found in the park's limestone caves include the thylacoleo or marsupial lion, the diprotodon (once widespread across Australia and the largest marsupial known) and the thylacine. Animals that fell into the caves were trapped; eventually their bones were covered in sediment, resulting in the abundance of high quality fossils here. The Naracoorte Caves and the Riversleigh site are grouped together as the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites. Each is highly significant in its own right. They were added to the World Heritage List in recognition of the extreme diversity and quality of their fossils and the links through time they provide to living animals and plants, and the evidence each provides separately of key stages in the evolution of the continent's unique and distinctive mammals.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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