The Wasatch Grotto is a chapter of the National Speleological Society, a national organization with over 12,000 members that encourages the study, exploration, and conservation of cave and karst resources. The NSS and member Grottos work to protect access to caves, encourage responsible cave management, and promote responsible caving.

Everyone is welcome to our meetings and to come cave with us!

Upcoming Grotto meeting:

Date: October 9th, Monday.
Time: 7pm
Location: Bountiful Library, @ 725 S Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010 | # (801) 295-8732.
Presentation: Exploring Goshute and Lexington Caves

Wasatch Grotto will not be having a May 8 Meeting

Reminder — Wasatch Grotto will not be having a regular Grotto Meeting on May 8.   
Asunto: Re: Sink Hole de Mayo – Hosted by the Salt Lake Grotto 
For SLG grotto members, $5.00 per person; maxing out at $10 per family. 
For other than SLG:   Grotto members: $10 per person, $5 for kids 12 and under, but max out at $20
A whole lot is going into this. It’ll be quite fancy for being in the desert. We are taking it up a notch from the last coupe of years. The prices are actually a steal considering all of what is included, and the fact that we are dragging that stuff all the way out there. 
Details:
Bring your brothers, your sisters, and your kids, cuz its time for… ¡SINKHOLE DE MAYO!   – hosted by the SALT LAKE GROTTO  (3rd annual event)

We gather together to celebrate all that is right and good about Mexican culture. The food, the festive colors, the…caving? 

For those (and that should be all of you) that want to camp, people will be rolling in Friday evening after work. Adam and his Entourage will be rolling in somewhere around 5 pm. Food friday night will be a shared affair, meaning bring your own, but we all love each other so sharing will be encouraged! : )

The following morning will be greeted bright and early by a sun salutation/rendtion of the Lion King and a dance around a sombrero, at which point Adam will immediately fire up the grill and begin the carne asada and barbacoa.

Breakfast will be eggs and chorizo (of course) and Horchata

Lunch will be tacos with your choice of meat and acccoutrements

More than enough of Mexican sodas and drinks.

BYOB, but please remember NO DRIVING OR CAVING if you have partaken. Also, please remember temperance above all as this is a family friendly event! : )

More details to come, but there will be multiple trips to other caves in the area, a fully rigged Pink Lime with bolt crossings, standard drops and freehangs to test your caving-mettle. There will also be contests, including a rumored speed free ascent contest, the winner of which gets to shave Rodney’s head (not guaranteed). Other contests are best costume, best/worst Macarena dancer, and hopefully a piñata for the kiddos (and the child within each of us)

Please either paypal the grotto or bring cash. 

Here are some itemized details for those that do not follow my scatterbrained organization

For SLG grotto members, $5.00 per person; maxing out at $10 per family. 
For other than SLG:   Grotto members: $10 per person, $5 for kids 12 and under, but max out at $20
 Please paypal the grotto prior to showing up, but bring cash if you must! : ) This is to cover the cost of food. paypal.me/saltlakegrotto
-Full Vertical Gear – HELMETS ARE REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES NEAR THE PIT
-Come in full Cinco attire! The more fun or elaborate the better!
Breakfast and Lunch/Snacks will be provided
-BYOB
-Camping Gear
-4 wheel drive is recommended the last mile, until then passenger cars are perfectly fine
-headlamps
-This is a private event, but if you want to invite friends, check with admins (Rodney or Adam)
-Location: Pink Lime Pit   (GPS coords: 40.073040, -112.129890)
– Approx. 1 hour from I-15 in Lehi
-No cell service is common at the site, so plan your trip accordingly!
www.facebook.com
See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Shopping for Clothes, Caveman Style

Cave
Photo: Pedro Saura

New findings in Spain show that early man seems to have hunted cave lions for their pelts. And why not? Lion and leopard was still fashionable back then. These were considered some of the largest lions that may have ever lived. So their pelts were large allowing early man to do a lot with them.

The abstract:

Pleistocene skinning and exploitation of carnivore furs have been previously inferred from archaeological evidence. Nevertheless, the evidence of skinning and fur processing tends to be weak and the interpretations are not strongly sustained by the archaeological record. In the present paper, we analyze unique evidence of patterned anthropic modification and skeletal representation of fossil remains of cave lion (Panthera spelaea) from the Lower Gallery of La Garma (Cantabria, Spain). This site is one of the few that provides Pleistocene examples of lion exploitation by humans. Our archaeozoological study suggests that lion-specialized pelt exploitation and use might have been related to ritual activities during the Middle Magdalenian period (ca. 14800 cal BC). Moreover, the specimens also represent the southernmost European and the latest evidence of cave lion exploitation in Iberia. Therefore, the study seeks to provide alternative explanations for lion extinction in Eurasia and argues for a role of hunting as a factor to take into account.

Read it all, over at PLOS

Kill Them With Cuteness

Bat waggling head
Photo: Johns Hopkins University

Some people would argue that bats are anything but cute. But that is simply because they have never met a bat. Some bats are very adorable. A study in 2016 analyzed a strange and cute mannerism observed in many bats: head waggling. A waggle is when the bat turns its head side to side while looking at something.

“It’s an adorable behavior, and I was curious about the purpose,” said Melville J. Wohlgemuth, a postdoctoral fellow in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “I wanted to know when bats were doing this and why. It seemed to occur as bats were targeting prey, and that turns out to be the case.”

Read about the study in all its detail over at PLOS Biology.

New Very Leggy Millipede Found in California

161024095644_1_900x600

Getting a leg up on its competitors, a new millipede has been discovered in a cave in California. Researchers also found several other new insects.

“I never would have expected that a second species of the leggiest animal on the planet would be discovered in a cave 150 miles away,” says Paul Marek, Assistant Professor in the Entomology Department at Virginia Tech. It’s closest relative lives under giant sandstone boulders outside of San Juan Bautista, California.

In addition to the new millipede’s legginess, it also has bizarre-looking mouthparts of a mysterious function, four legs that are modified into penises, a body covered in long silk-secreting hairs, and paired nozzles on each of its over 100 segments that squirt a defense chemical of an unknown nature.

This is quite the millipede! Read the press release here.  And the full research article can be read over on Pensoft.net.