Earth Science Week Activities Continued
October 2002

Join Palaeontologists at a Fossil Dig

Grenfell Area

Visit a fish fossil site in the Grenfell area. A veritable treasure trove of at least a dozen  different fish species, many still to be described. Palaeontologists are hoping to find some remains of a tetrapod, the first vertebrates who ventured onto dry land. Fossil evidence of Devonian tetrapods is extremely rare in Australia.GBells.jpg (72602 bytes) Tetrapod footprints have been found in southeastern NSW and part of a lower jaw was found near Forbes, central western NSW. These were the only Devonian Tetrapod remains known from the Southern Hemisphere, until the most recent discovery of a ?tetrapod rib from one of the Grenfell sites.  Apart from this ?tetrapod rib, the Grenfell area has already yielded a promising array of fish fossils during earlier visits. This has included parts of unusual antiarchs (bony fishes) which are more like some known Chinese forms rather than those found at nearby Canowindra, as well as lungfish, acanthodians (spiny finned fishes) and crossopterygian fishes (relatives of tetrapods).

Cowra, Canowindra and Forbes Areas

Inspect the fossils that made Canowindra famous.  Hear the story of this amazingSLP.jpg (55886 bytes) find and the research that followed. Learn how fossils are cleaned, how casts are made and how scientists use them in their work. Visit the new Age of Fishes Museum.  Join a guided tour and see a video of the original dig. Learn how to recognize some of the clues scientists use to reconstruct past environments and the geological history.

Visit a second fossil-fish site near Merriganowry. Dig up fish fossils preserved in easily splitting black shale. So far only one species of phyllolepid, a strange-looking extinct armored fish, has been found as well as different plant fossils, have been found at that site but other types of fish may be present.  Find a fish fossil (you may even be the one to uncover a different fish species), and dig up one of the abundant plant fossils at the site. Learn how to recognise the clues that have helped scientists reconstruct the geological history and the ancient environment at this site.

Visit a fossil quarry near Forbes. The fossils found there include a variety of trilobites and graptolites.  These used to live in a marine environment, about 400 million years ago.  At that time a shallow arm of an ancient ocean extended into what is now the Forbes area.  When the sea later retreated as a result of earth movements and uplift in the region, large rivers formed to drain this new and elevated land area. The environment these trilobites and graptolites lived in is therefore not only older but also quite different from the river and lake system the fish thrived in.  Look for trilobites and graptolites.

Join for a day, half a day or for the whole four days.  Costs on application.
Bookings are essential! 

For more information and details please contact:
Monica Yeung c/- Gondwana Dreaming; PO Box 3017 WESTON ACT 2611
Tel: 02 - 6285 1872; Fax: 02 - 6285 3087; Mobile: 0428 - 164 469 or
0408 - 276 954;

Phone: (+61 2) 6285 1872 or Mobile: 0408 276 954 or 0428 164 469
Fax: (+61 2) 6285 3087

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