Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument

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Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument
Milodon cave.JPG
Mylodon's Cave
Location Magallanes Region, Chile
Coordinates 51°33′56″S 72°37′11″W / 51.56556°S 72.61972°W / -51.56556; -72.61972Coordinates: 51°33′56″S 72°37′11″W / 51.56556°S 72.61972°W / -51.56556; -72.61972
Governing body Corporación Nacional Forestal

Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument is a Natural Monument located in the Chilean Patagonia,[1] 24 km (15 mi) northwest of Puerto Natales and 270 km (168 mi) north of Punta Arenas. The monument is situated along the flanks of the Cerro Benitez Mountains.[2] It comprises several caves and a rock formation called Silla del Diablo (Devil's Chair). The monument includes a cave which is notable for the discovery in 1895 of skin, bones and other parts of a giant ground sloth called Mylodon (Mylodon darwini).

Milodon Cave[edit]

The largest cave in the monument is the 200 m long Milodon Cave. It was discovered in 1895 by Hermann Eberhard, German explorer of Patagonia. He found a large, seemingly fresh piece of skin of an unidentified animal. In 1896 the cave was explored by Otto Nordenskjöld and later it was recognized that the skin belonged to Mylodon - an extinct animal which died 10,200 - 13,560 years ago.[3]

In the cave and other caves of the monument have been found remnants of other extinct animals and human remnants.

At the entrance of the monument is a life size replica of the prehistoric Mylodon, which was a very large herbivore, somewhat resembling a large bear. It became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch.

Mylodon remains[edit]

Investigations determined the survival of the Milodon until about 5,000 years ago and confirmed the existence of other animals, such as the "Dwarf Horse" Hippidion, the saber-toothed cat Smilodon and the litoptern Macrauchenia[4]

Human remains[edit]

Diverse elements of human habitation are found[5] at Cueva del Milodón including fire-fractured rock, lithic tools and human remains. Human habitation at Cueva del Milodón is dated as early as 6000 BC.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ciudad de Puerto Natales: Cueva del Milodon
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Cueva del Milodon, Megalithic Portal, 13 April 2008 [1]
  3. ^ "Milodon Cave (Cueva del Milodón)". Wondermondo. 
  4. ^ Milodón's Cave in Letsgochile.com
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Calvin J. Heusser (2003) ‘'Ice Age Southern Andes: A Chronicle of Paleoecological Events'‘, Elsevier, 240 pages ISBN 0-444-51478-3