The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte) with a portfolio of photos by Peter Howard taken during a visit to Naracoorte in December 2017. Outside the main visitor centre is an impressive life-size statue of Diprotodon australis, the largest marsupial to ever live in Australia, while the modern foyer of the centre exhibits some beautifully reconstructed skeletons and reconstructions of some of the extinct megafauna, including the giant snake, Wonambi naracoortensis constricting its prey and a 200kg giant kangaroo, Procoptodon goliath. At the reception visitors are able to book guided tours to a few of the principal caves, and this is essential to get an understanding of the site. The next part of the slideshow illustrates the guided tour of Victoria Cave – the prime showcase cave for fossils, with a number of chambers where exposed fossils can be seen, and one main chamber adapted as a small ‘amphitheatre’ around reconstructed skeletons of the iconic ‘marsupial lion’, Thylacoleo carnifex and a giant browsing kangaroo, Simosthenurus occidentalis. Back at the visitor centre there’s an opportunity to experience what the area would have been like 200,000 years ago, with life-size animated models of some key species in a reconstructed natural environment at the Wonambi Fossil Centre. There are some eye-catching models of marsupial lion, thylacine, Diprotodon, a 4-metre giant goanna lizard, an extinct giant koala and a hippo look-alike, Zygomaturus trilobus.
The slideshow continues by illustrating a visit to the bat cave teleview centre (where visitors can view real-time remote video of the roosting bats that occupy the bat cave below) and the impressive open chambers of Blanche Cave. A couple of photos show the chambers of the Stick-Tomato (or Wet) Cave, the only (rather small) cave that is open to the public for self-guided visits. The last part of the slideshow covers the Alexandra Cave, where the site’s most impressive cave formations (speleothems) can be seen.