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Research - Palaentology

Research opportunities on fossils at the Eromanga Natural History Museum involves three sections:

  1. Fossils and ichnofossils from the late Cretaceous, the period that saw the last of the reign of the dinosaurs, a time when just before they became extinct they grew to titanic sizes never to be seen in the terrestrial animal kingdom again. A rare window into the behaviour of the dinosaurs and the Paleoecology of the late Cretaceous period in one of the newest friendly paleontological frontiers.
  2. Fossils from the Quaternary Pleistocene Arid Zone, the marsupial and reptilian megabeasts that evolved after the dinosaurs died. The megafauna lived alongside the Aboriginals for tens of thousands of years before becoming extinct. Descendants of these extinct species have evolved and still exist today.
  3. Fossils from the Quaternary Pleistocene, the microfauna evolution in the Australian Arid Zone.

Image supplied Rochelle Lawrence: Microfossil 1mm.

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  Even if a better specimen is found, the holotype is not superseded.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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