2021 GGY 789 Field Trip

Posted on October 15, 2021

The 2021 GGY 789 field trip, led by Dr. Natalie Haussmann and Prof. Greg Breetzke, took place from 7 to 10 October at Florisbad, in the Free State. Twelve of the BSc Geography Honours students and four of the GIS Honours students attended. Activities included mouse trapping, bat netting and archaeology talks by various speakers. In the evening of 7 October, Dr Nico Avenant presented a talk on the sampling of small mammals, after which the students entered the fields surrounding the research station and set non-lethal box mouse traps. Traps were checked every morning by the students, accompanied by Dr Avenant. When mice were found in the traps the sex and species were identified, as well as whether the mouse was pregnant or not. In addition, bat nets were set in the evening and each bat caught was studied and successfully released.

Throughout the few days spent at the research station the students enjoyed talks and presentations on many topics including learning about the history of the Florisbad Research Station and how it has had many fossils found on site including the famous 260 ka Florisbad skull. The archaeology talks presented by Drs. Lloyd Rossouw and Brigette Cohen taught students about taphonomy (study of how fossils are formed) and how to identify the markings on fossilized bones. The students were able to see what they had learned first-hand by being shown the fossil collection at the research station and the various pit sites where fossils are being discovered.

It was all round a very enjoyable experience that provided the students with a lifetime of memories as well as new knowledge on small mammal sampling and fossils.

 
- Author Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology
Published by Christel Hansen

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