Australian builders unearth city fossil trove

Jul 16, 2013
Illustration photo shows a 220-million-year-old amphibian fossil found in a quarry north of Sydney on February 14, 1997. Australian builders doing roadworks have uncovered a rare urban trove of crocodile and other fossils thought to be around 50 million years old, officials said.

Australian builders doing roadworks have uncovered a rare urban trove of crocodile and other fossils thought to be around 50 million years old, officials said Tuesday.

The fossils, trapped in a layer of , were found during excavation works near Brisbane's Geebung at a depth of about 15 metres (49 feet), according to city mayor Graham Quirk.

"The bones have been identified as from ancient crocodiles, as well as other significant material including fish, freshwater shells and plant impressions," said Quirk.

Geoscientists were called in to examine the find, which Queensland Museum chief executive Suzanne Miller described as "particularly significant".

"Very few sites of this age are available for study, as similar-aged sites in the greater Brisbane area are often no longer accessible due to housing and urban development," Miller said.

"The construction works have fortuitously provided access to a new locality that was not previously known to palaeontologists."

Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson said it was an "extraordinary finding in Brisbane's backyard" and the area would be combed for further specimens.

"The fossils will provide a valuable opportunity for more detailed studies," Emerson said, adding that experts were interested in retrieving any other fossils that could be in the same vicinity.

Queensland has some of Australia's richest , including a famous dinosaur dig at Winton in the state's west, where three new were discovered in 2009.

Brisbane is Australia's third largest city, with a population of 2.2 million.

Explore further: Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australians find huge mega-wombat graveyard (Update)

Jun 21, 2012

Australian scientists Thursday unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon, with the site potentially holding valuable clues on the species' extinction.

US returns more Mongolian dinosaur bones

May 10, 2013

Mongolia may need to rustle up some more glass cases for its first dinosaur museum after US authorities announced Friday they will hand back a large new collection of stolen fossils.

Tiny ancient bandicoot shines light on future

May 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —A 20 million-year-old fossil skull identified as a 'pocket-sized' ancestor of the bandicoot will give insights into the future of Australia's modern endangered animals.

Breathing new life into old bones

Mar 06, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Research by palaeontologists from The University of Queensland is revealing exciting new insights into one of Australia's most important dinosaur fossils.

Recommended for you

Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

Jul 22, 2014

Scientists said Tuesday they hope that radar technology will help them find a century-old Aboriginal burial ground on an Australian island, bringing some closure to the local indigenous population.

Archaeologists excavate NY Colonial battleground

Jul 19, 2014

Archaeologists are excavating an 18th-century battleground in upstate New York that was the site of a desperate stand by Colonial American troops, the flashpoint of an infamous massacre and the location of the era's largest ...

User comments : 0