We Need To Protect The Fossil Heritage On Our Doorstep

Updates on 27 Jul , 2015

Great new article about Beaumaris, its fossils and the threat of the planned marina development by Professor John Long, Strategic Professor in Palaeontology at Flinders University.

A prehistoric scene showing ancient penguins, elephant seals and giant marsupials. A rich diversity of both marine and land creatures once lived at Beaumaris, Melbourne, about 7 million years ago. Peter Trusler, Monash University.

A prehistoric scene showing ancient penguins, elephant seals and giant marsupials. A rich diversity of both marine and land creatures once lived at Beaumaris, Melbourne, about 7 million years ago. Peter Trusler, Monash University.

“The fossils from this site are remarkably diverse and abundant. The 2 km stretch of coast between Table Rock and Mentone Beach is home to Australia’s single richest marine animal fossil site, spanning the last 5 million to 10 million years of Earth’s history.”

“An added distinction of Beaumaris is that it is one of the only sites known in Australia where we find evidence of our ancient land mammals in rocks formed in the shallows of an ancient bay.”

“Only last year, the discovery of sea turtle fossils at Beaumaris filled a 66-million-year-gap in the history of Australian reptiles. These and many other kinds of fossils can be found within the cliff sequences and within the layers of rock exposed during low-tide.”

“I have consulted to the federal government in assessing the scientific significance of several of Australia’s most important fossil sites over the past 20 years. In this capacity I would place Beaumaris as one of the most significant fossils sites in Victoria, and certainly in Australia’s top ten most significant fossil sites.

“Just imagine what could be done if one day funds were invested to properly develop the area around the Beaumaris fossil sites. International tourists could take a guided glass-bottomed boat tour and see giant fossil whale jaws in situ.”

Part of Prof George Gaylord Simpson 1969 letter. American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Part of Prof George Gaylord Simpson 1969 letter. American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Read the full article by Professor John Long, Strategic Professor in Palaeontology at Flinders University: https://theconversation.com/we-need-to-protect-the-fossil-heritage-on-our-doorstep-42263