Paleomission : in search of the ancient sloth – the work

The work




Our research would have been impossible without the generous support of a local farmer (known to us as Coloráo), who is the owner of the property where the cave is located. Coloráo and his family provided indispensable advice, transportation, meals, and accommodation, and their help and generosity are deeply appreciated. We transported diving and scientific equipment to the cave with the help of a horse and buggy provided by Coloráo and his family.

©Joao Gabriel Martínez López


©Jill Heinerth



Meticulous planning was critical to ensure the safety of all involved and to guarantee that reliable science was undertaken. Each morning a meeting was held at Coloráo’s house to plan the day’s work.

(Clockwise from left) Bil Phillips, Kenny Broad, Miguel Angel Pereira Sosa, Edey Bermúdez, Elián López Cabrera, Joao Gabriel Martínez López, and Yamilé del Carmen Luguera González planning the day’s activities. ©Jill Heinerth
Cave diver Kenny Broad getting ready to eat a common Cuban meal of chicken, rice, pea soup, squash, and salad. ©Joao Gabriel Martínez López




Remembering Bil Phillips

Sadly, one of our teammates, Bil Phillips, passed away following a brief illness in 2017. Bil was a pioneer in the exploration and mapping of underwater caves. Born in Vancouver, he spent much of his life in Mexico, where he was a leading cave diving instructor. Known as one of the most prolific underwater cave explorers in the world, he logged over 4,200 cave dives and was instrumental in the establishment of education for safe diving. His passion, dedication, and joviality inspired countless people to pursue cave diving, and all who worked with him miss him immensely.

Professional explorer and cave diver (January 5, 1955 – November 26, 2017). © Jill Heinerth
Professional explorer and cave diver (January 5, 1955 – November 26, 2017). © Jill Heinerth



The project

The work

The discovery



Visit survey

Activities and coloring

Sign up for
our newsletter!

Do you want to receive our news?
Then sign up for our newsletter: