An amazing discovery has been made by construction workers in Brisbane engaged in road construction works. The workers found animal and plant fossils, thought to be about 50 million years old.
The fossils were found by a piling rig contained in a layer of oil shale more than 15 metres below the ground on a construction site at Geebung on Brisbane’s north side during building excavation works.
Academics have called the find unusual and significant, containing fossils of ancient crocodiles, fish, freshwater shells and plants. It was particularly unusual, because it was discovered in an urban area, far away from where discoveries of this nature are usually found.
An article on Abc.net.au explains what happened,
Project engineers have been talking to experts from the Queensland Museum, who say the fossils are those of ancient crocodiles, fish, freshwater shells and plants.
Academics say the suburban site was completely unknown to them.
Professor Suzanne Miller, the chief of the Queensland Museum, says the find is not only unusual but significant.
“It’s very unusual to find materials being uncovered in these urban sites. I mean, most discoveries of this nature are found miles from anywhere,” she told The World Today.
“First of all it’s very unusual to have an urban construction site that finds it, and secondly to have the people on the construction team realise that there was something unusual and to make that call was incredibly fortunate for us.”
Professor Miller goes on to call on the community to help by volunteering to help sift through the soil from the site so that it can be transferred to the museum. As she explains, the discovery may provide vital information that could help us piece together a part of our planet’s history perhaps even telling us what the world was like after dinosaurs were wiped out.
According to academics there may be real potential in the site to discover something unique for the state of Queensland and unique for Oz. The findings could have huge global significance an interest.
Professor Miller went on to state according to the article,
“This is one of those sites that’s showing us all these smaller animals that co-existed in one place in one habitat at the same time, just after the massive extinction that wiped out a vast amount of life on the planet.
“It’s a really critical time for understanding how life then went on to evolve, but it’s quite a bit before the time of the famous Australian megafauna where you have the giant kangaroos and so on.
“It’s a bit of a missing link in the geological and fossil history, not just of Australia but within the world.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says the find will not hinder the timetable for the project, although engineers are now liaising with researchers in case more unusual remains are unearthed.
According to the Lord Mayor the construction project will continue as planned, as it is a $200 million road congestion and safety project. The real value is in the soil which will be conserved and taken away to the museum to be further examined by experts.