Written by Hank Woolley.
Our wily MICET driver Claude posing with one of the numerous ammonites we collected.
Well, in terms of dinosaurs and terrestrial ecosystems, we got skunked in Analavelona. BUT on the bright side, we did discover a vast array of marine depositional environments, from shell beds to tidal channels to deltaic deposits. We were knee-deep in ammonites and oysters, but we also picked up a spectacular array of gastropods, belemnites, bivalves, brachiopods, and even a few isolated elements of marine reptiles! So while the dinosaur enthusiast in me is somewhat disappointed, my desire for finding cool fossils and discovering new ancient environments was absolutely satisfied.
Not only did we find some really cool ancient critters, we also explored an area that literally had never seen cars (or foreigners) before, and that alone is something to write home about. Here are some more photos of our adventures in Analavelona!
The paleobotanist meets a botanist’s dream: Ian Miller standing in front of the Analavelona cloud forest on top of the plateau. The forest represents one of the last undisturbed primary forests remaining in Madagascar.
Our team on a beautiful day for prospecting!
Our guide performing a Fomba (blessing ceremony), permitting us to camp near the river in Analavelona.