Scientists rejoiced at the phenomenal discovery of fossils that are possibly millions of years old in the northern part of Brisbane. The scientific discovery at a work site was hailed as the world's first to include a rare collection of 50-million-year-old fossils, including crocodiles, fish, frogs and plants.
The treasure trove of fossils was discovered on Robinson Road at Geebung where a rail overpass is under construction. The chief executive at Queensland Museum, Professor Suzanne Miller, said Brisbane's scientific find is incredible for Queensland and for Australia.
Ms Miller also said the discovery of fossils near a construction site is "utterly unique" to science. The Queensland Museum is prepared for visiting scientists who might want to examine the fossils. She said there will be a lot of geological interest due to the discovery.
The fossils, believed to be 50 million years old, include a 5-metre-long ancient crocodile's vertebra from the lumbar region.
The fossils were found by a work crew while they were drilling a hole to build the bridge support near the ZIlman Waterholes. A few days ago, the fossils in an oil shale rock and soil were found inside the hole. Other fossils were soon unearthed in a low swampy area nearby.
The senior curator of the Queensland Museum, Dr. Scott Hocknull, said the crocodile fossil was an amazing find. Compared to the bone of the modern day crocodile, Mr Hocknull said the bone that they found at Geebung came from an extinct animal or species and definitely not from the average freshwater crocodile.
Fossils of possibly the oldest frogs in Austraia, fish and plant life were also discovered. Ms Miller believes Northern Australia is "absolutely unique" because of the significance of fossils to the world.
She said the fossils may have come from the time after the dinosaurs became extinct and before the evolution of megafauna in Australia.
Meanwhile, construction work will not stop at the overpass. The people in the community have been asked by Brisbane government to help dig and sift through 30 cubic metres of dirt to see if there are any more fossils.
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