[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Australian farmer finds 220 million-year-old fossil

OK, let's set the record straight......

>*** Australian farmer finds 220 million-year-old fossil
>An Australian farmer landscaping his garden with stone blocks

Not a farmer, a suburbanite on the Central Coast of New South Wales; a
locality known as Kincumber.

> has
>found a 220 million-year-old fossil, which scientists believe may be a
>new type of amphibian.

Anne Warren, dead amphibian expert and Victorian, identified it as a
brachyopid temnospondyl. It is a relatively complete skeleton including the
skull, and most of the postcranial skeleton but the full extent of the
specimen requires further preparation.

>Australian Museum paleontologist Alex Ritchie

Ex-Australian Museum, he retired in 1995 and is now emetirus there (this
leaves NSW without a state-employed vertebrate palaeontologist. Write in to
the NSW government and complain loudly - suggesting a certain Dr Willis for
the job).

>said Friday the fossil, which pre-dates dinosaurs by 10-15 million
>years, was the most complete of its type found in Australia since

The 1910 specimen was the skeleton of Paracyclotosaurus found in St peters
Brick Pit and now in the care of the British Museum of Natural History (and
we would like it back anytime you feel free - you wouldn't want another
Elgan Marbles on your hands now, would you?)

>The fossil was of a 6.5-foot brachyopid temnospondyl amphibian,

This seems a generous estimate of length based on what I have seen but,
including a missing tail, it is possible.

Hope these details prove interesting. Anyone interested in other fossil
finds in the Sydney Basin, I can send stuff by private addresses.

Cheers, Paul

Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd