SciCafe: Hunting Ancient Bat Fossils in Colombia

Part of SciCafe

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A panoramic view of a recessed canyon, with red rock formations, at the La Venta fossil site in Colombia. N. Simmons/© AMNH
Big animals like dinosaurs make big fossils–but how do scientists find fossils of small animals like bats and rodents?

Join Nancy Simmons, curator-in-charge of the Museum’s Department of Mammalogy, as she discusses her 2022 Constantine S. Niarchos Expedition to La Venta, a fossil-rich site in the Magdalena River Valley of central Colombia. This area was once a lush tropical forest but is now a tropical desert rich in fossils. Simmons will discuss the unique methods of paleontology required for finding microfossils as well as what we can learn from them, from piecing together a new picture of what the local fauna looked like in the past to understanding how bats evolved their incredible diversity today.


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