February 1st, 2016
In March of 2015, our team (David Steadman, Angelo Soto-Centeno, Nancy Albury, Michael Albury, Harlan Gough, Kelly Delancy, Hayley Singleton, and Neil Duncan) went to Crooked Island to explore caves for intact fossil material, archaeological sites, and bats. After our departure, Janet Franklin and her students, Julie Ripplinger and Pep Serra, from ASU arrived on the island to study the vegetation and landscape ecology.
Crooked Island is a remote island located in the southern Bahamas and has a population of around 250 persons. It is quite a unique place and we found ourselves right at home in Alsette’s cottages and eating delicious meals at Bernard’s. The island itself is remarkably preserved and we encountered all types of wildlife including sea turtles, land crabs, and many species of fish and birds. On this trip, we excavated the sediment in a small cave and found many other caves with abundant fossil material to excavate for study in the near future. Angelo, Neil, and Harlan also were able to study bats from numerous roosts on the island as well.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Joaquin hit Crooked Island directly in late September causing severe damage. The Crooked Islanders are in the process of rebuilding now. Once the island infrastructure is up and running, we will surely return for another exciting research expedition.
Excavations at Maidenhair Fern Cave:
Preserved extinct crocodile fossils located in 1702 Cave:
Angelo and Harlan conducting bat research:
Abundant wildlife found in the mangroves:
Alsette’s cottages overlooking a beautiful bay:
UF/AMNH team (left) and the ASU team (right).
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