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History

Southwest Queensland's first dinosaur was found in 2004 when 14-year-old Sandy Mackenzie spotted an unusual rock while mustering on the family property west of Eromanga.

The Mackenzie family began scouring the property and a plethora of unique 95-98 million year old titanosaur fossils sites were discovered. The internationally-valuable bones represented the remains from new species and genus of dinosaurs for Australia.

A locally based natural history society was formed to raise funds and run systematic scientific digs on the property. These digs ensured the fossils were not lost to weathering and could be available for new research that would provide an insight into past climates and ecosystems. As the discoveries grew, in 2008, the Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd (OGF Ltd) was founded to provide a fund raising body and a credible public body to oversee the collection, processing and storing of the fossils. The Foundations plan was to build the Eromanga Natural History Museum to process, house and showcase these fossils to the world as well as bring economic opportunities to southwest Queensland. The Eromanga Natural History Museum is now open to the public and is an operating scientific and educational institution in South West Queensland, holding internationally significant fossil collections.

Australia's largest dinosaur was carefully excavated from the dirt and a raft of other dinosaurs followed, all species that had never been seen before. The discoveries made southwest Queensland the country's newest palaeontology frontier.
The Eromanga Natural History Museum began collecting other items of scientific significance from the southwest, including new species of insects and arid-zone botany. These modern collections provide valuable comparisons to their ancient companions.

Word spread throughout the region and the museum turned its attention to other significant fossil sites. On a property near Eulo the Foundation began scientifically excavating an area where megafauna bones had been found on the surface. Well-preserved fossils of the world's largest marsupial, other large mammals, and reptiles and microfauna were dug from these sites. These sites are dated to approximately 50,000 to 100,000 years old. To date there are at least 30 known different species represented at these sites.

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Local fossils kept in a credible local museum

South West Queensland has some of Australia’s richest dinosaur, megafauna fossil fields plus species of dozens of other smaller fossilized plants and animals. The extensive nature and importance of these discoveries necessitated the establishment of a regional natural history museum.

The Eromanga Natural History Museum is operated in accordance to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries. The Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd continues to look for funding to continue the development of new stages of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, new programs and exhibitions.

The Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd was established in 2008 as the research and governing body for the Eromanga Natural History Museum. The Foundation is a registered Australian Charity, a public company run by a board of six directors. It is a Deductable Gift Recipient and a participating institution for the Cultural Gifts Program. - See more at: www.ogf.org.au

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Holotype?

A holotype is a valuable original specimen that describes a new species.  It is a term used to describe a specimen that is the first known of its kind anywhere in the world.  A holotype can be any type of fossil, and it serves as the name-bearer of the species.  Even if a better specimen is found, the holotype is not superseded.  These are rare and exciting discoveries, which help fill important gaps in the fossil record. 

Every animal and plant that is scientifically described is represented by a holotype.  If a scientist wishes to study the unique traits of a species, it is usually the holotype specimen they study.  The holotypes are the crown jewels of any museum collection.  These priceless specimens need to be stored and conserved at standards that meet the Code of International Zoological Nomenclature.


 
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