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Explore Għar Dalam under a moonless sky

The event will end with a tour of the natural prehistoric cave

The event will end with a tour of the natural prehistoric cave

A one-off opportunity to tour Għar Dalam (Cave of Darkness) and its surroundings under a moonless sky at night is being offered by Heritage Malta tomorrow in an event called ‘New Moon at Għar Dalam’.

The site consists of a natural prehistoric cave near Birżebbuġa, a small museum housing a Victorian-style exhibition and a didactic display, and a garden planted with indigenous plants and trees.

The tour starts with a short introduction on the area’s biodiversity, followed by a walk in the garden to listen to flying bats using a bat detector – an electronic device that turns bat calls into audible sounds. Two species of these flying mammals roost inside Għar Dalam cave.

This will be followed by a presentation of highlights from entomological studies in the Maltese islands, including the link between insects and bats.

Moths and other flying insects will be attracted by ultraviolet light into traps so they can be viewed by participants in the tour before being released. The event will end with a tour of the cave, which is a very important site for its palaeontology, archaeology and ecology. Excavations in the 19th century unearthed animal bones as well as human remains and artefacts.

From the cave’s stratigraphy archaeologists were able to decode not only its history but also that of the Maltese islands. Even today a variety of animals live in the cave, including an endemic species that is found nowhere else.

New Moon at Għar Dalam will be held tomorrow from 7 to 9.30pm. Light refreshments will be served during the event. Tickets may be purchased from Heritage Malta sites and museums, and from www.heritagemalta.org.

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