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The Evolution of Australian Biota box explores the movements of the world's plates as the super continent Gondwana rifted apart, the isolation of Australia from the other continents and the subsequent changes in climatic conditions that forced the species aboard the Australian continent to adapt and evolve into new species.


Museum in a Box - Evolution of Australian Biota
Image: James King
© Australian Museum

A variety of Gondwanan and Australian fossils are included in this study as well as examples of Australia's present day unique flora and fauna.

These specimens and activities are designed for Preliminary Biology students to work through some of the ideas and issues involved in the interpretation of Australian's evolutionary history. The activities are particularly relevant to Biology Stage 6.

Box Contents:

  • Wombat skull and foot
  • Diprotodon fossil vertebra, rear foot bones, molar, incisor cast
  • Megalania fossil vertebrae
  • X-ray of modern goanna
  • Bluff Downs Giant Python fossil vertebra cast
  • Modern snake vertebrae
  • Modern kangaroo vertebra and jaw
  • Dingo vertebrae
  • Procoptodon fossil jaw and toe cast
  • Sthenuris jaw fossil cast
  • Skull casts of Riversleigh Platypus and modern Platypus
  • Water-holding Frog diorama
  • Blossom Bat study skin in tube,
  • Rainbow Lorikeet study skin in tube and tongue model
  • Wasp and orchid embedment
  • Embedments of a variety female cones, conifer seeds
  • Wollemia bark cast
  • Glossopteris fossil real
  • 4 plant specimens laminated Wollemia, Agathis, Araucaria and Todea
  • Plate Tectonics CD rom
  • DVD of Gondwana breakup animation
  • Fact Sheets


Diprotodon optatum
Diprotodon dig site Image: Howard Hughes
© Australian Museum

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