AGE OF FISHES MUSEUM

On Thursday 10 September, I visited the Age of Fishes Museum, somewhere I had wanted to go to for some time. Fossils have always fascinated me as a tangible connection to our past and travelling in Australia I have seen some amazing fossils in the Queensland Museum and out on a property, Plesiosaur bones in the ground at Andamooka gone but the space filled with Opal and here at the Australian National University, local fossils from Wee Jasper.

The museum is in CANOWINDRA, NSW.

The museum is in CANOWINDRA, NSW.

The fascinating story of chance discovery is explained in the museum.

The Canowindra grossi, the first sarcopterygian found at Canowindra is still known only from the one specimen found in the 1956 slab.

The Canowindra grossi, the first sarcopterygian found at Canowindra is still known only from the one specimen found in the 1956 slab.

One of the world’s greatest fossil discoveries happened by chance when roadworkers were working near Canowindra and turned over a slab of rock with unusual markings. A local apiarist Bill Simpson contacted the Australian Museum in Sydney and research identified thousands of fossils of fish from 360 million years ago. The fish died en mass when a billabong dried up and their bodies were covered with fine sand that held their perfect impressions for us to see now. The scale of the find is astounding and intriguingly there is still much more buried at the site awaiting time and money to dig up and continue the exciting discovery.

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