According to The Washington Post, The National Park Service said the unexplored Black Hills cave will shed light on climate change; therefore, excavation works will begin in the following period.
The scientists team, led by East Tennessee State University professor Jim Mead, will begin excavating Presidence Cave hoping that their findings will throw light on how the climate of the region have changed over time.
The discovery of Black Hills cave is not recent but it dates back to 2004, when it was found by a worker of South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park. It’s discovery has been kept secret however, in order to prevent its contamination and also to protect its value to the scientific world.
The scientists will soon begin to dig out loads of sediments and animal bones which will provide valuable information on the species which inhabited the Black Hills region in the past, as well as how the region climate has been affected.
Latest reports state that the scientists have actually already dug out animal bones dating back to approximately 11,000 years ago. The tests which were carried on the remains are surprising, to say the least, they show that the bones come from three different species – the platygonus, pika and pine marten – which are not known to have ever inhabited the Black Hills region.
The findings will also point to how the climate has changed in the area, through the passing of time.
“What we are trying to do is to understand essentially the Ice Age environmental change through time,” East Tennessee State University professor Jim Mead has stated at the dawn of his evolutionary research.
If the Pika species, which is presently found only in a colder environment, has been found on the site of Presidence cave, it makes scientists wonder on one hand if Black Hills was somewhat colder in the past and on the other hand if the Pika had been adapted to a warmer climate.
In order to protect the contents of the cave as well as scientists’ efforts, it has been agreed that the location of the Black Hills cave’s mouth will remain undisclosed for the time being.
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