Scientific Methods

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


By Lizzy

Our tour to Sterkfontain

On Thursday 23rd I and my team went to the Sterkfontain cave and we went with Althea. Sterkfontain cave is a very nice place and it is located at Krugersdorp. It is donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family. At sterkfontain cave we were with the tourist guider by the name of Rufus Mokwena and also other group of 4 (four) people. Rufus firstly gave us the rules for the Sterkfontain cave and also told us to stay close to each other. Rufus explain each and every species that we came across.

We observed the gabbros and on each it written different types of species such as Coelacanth fossil fish, Lystro sourus which was the mammal-like reptile and Thrinaxodon was also a mammal-like reptile, Dinosaurs birds called Euparkeria, Pangaea, Massospondylus which was South African dinosaur and it was an ancestor of Ostrich and on each of the species it written a year when it found.

We also observed the gabbros of the foot of the Australopithecus from Sterkfontain cave which was 3.3 million years old. It was 4 feet tall. We observed Lommon an ancestor of Homo, Mrs Ples which was Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontain was 2.6 million years old. We also observed gabbros of Homo sapiens from Africa rock art and Eland Taurotragus from South African rock art etc.

Underground cave

Rufus told us that the main entrance of the cave is the man made and the other part is natural. There was a steps down at the entrance which was also man made and the electricity was there to provide light for us and Rufus was also having torch. There are many pathways inside the cave going to the different directions. Thanks God because we were with the tourist guider and he knew the place very well. We trusted him believing that he will shows us the way out from the cave after every thing.

In side the cave we watched the video presentation about the story of little foot which did not saw the fossilised remains because of the darkness of place where they put the little foot. Rufus confirmed that the skeleton was there and it was 3.5 million year old. The presentation was done by Professor Ron C lark.

At the central cave we observed the dolomites rocks in a shape of an elephant and also looked like an African map. The shapes were lovely and beautiful. The dolomites were covered by the stele tight, at the lowest part; it was 16m below the surface we observed the stalactite clear water and we were told that inside the water only shrines are found there and they are blind. It was also the habit for bats. The underground cave is very beautiful but it is also a scaring place. On our way out from the cave we also observed the stature of Dr Robert Broom carried the fossil skull of Mrs Ples.

Museum or hominid exhibition hall

We also went to the museum and we observed different types of hominids fossil, skulls, teeth, bones and stones that were found long time ago and on each fossil was written the year that it lived. The different pictures of earliest hominids, modern human, chimpanzees and gorillas etc were there and it was interesting.

I learned that I have to trust and listen to others and this is very important .We listen to Rufus and trust him during our tour. We believed that he will take us to underground and bring us back safely and did it; we were safe no one get injured. I learned to work as a team. Where ever we went, we were in group as we were told to be together all the time.

Lizzy Maluleke
Cell no   072 351 8488
Tell        012 841 2133
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