Fossil Fever

Riversleigh fossils2

Fossil enthusiasts have the opportunity of a lifetime every July to meet with a team of palaeontologists when they descend on the Riversleigh Australian Fossil Mammal Site for their annual dig.

Led by Professor Michael Archer from the University of New South Wales, the scientists have uncovered fossils dating back 25 million years in the limestone deposits of Boodjamulla National Park.

This World Heritage area is an important fossil mammal site in Australia, revealing records of Gondwanan life forms, which existed before this ancient continent broke apart.

Riversleigh has the richest deposit of bat species in the world and provides evidence of how koalas evolved as the landscape changed from rainforest to dry eucalypt forest.

Scientists believe Riversleigh is possibly the only place in the world that will give them an understanding about the changes that may accompany a modern greenhouse shift thanks to the discovery of fossils from the time when greenhouse conditions shifted to icehouse conditions.

Adels Gove manager Michelle Low Mow says the team of scientists stay at the Lawn Hill accommodation, during their annual 10-day dig.

“Every evening they gather on the deck to give guests a free talk on their work. This down-to-earth chat helps the public understand how their findings today explain what was happening in the area tens of millions of years ago,” she says.

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